Lewandowski's Hattrick Sees Barcelona Cruise Past Viktoria Plzen In UCL Opener.

 In Wednesday's Champions League opening game against Viktoria Plzeñ, Robert Lewandowski extended his impressive start with Barcelona by scoring three goals and helping the Catalan team to a 5-1 victory.

The biggest off-season addition to the Barcelona squad, has already scored eight goals in just five games this year. He made history by being the first player in Champions League history to score 3 hat tricks for three different clubs (Borussia Dortmund, Bayern Munich and now Barcelona).

Frank Kessié and Ferran Torres, two other new Barcelona signings, also scored the first and last goals for the hosts in the Group C match at the Camp Nou.

The Czech Republic club Vikoria Plzen, had won 10 of its first 12 games this season, and had gone 34 games without a loss in competitive games before the outcome. It had 29 victories and 5 draws going into the massive encounter on Wednesday.

Barcelona, despite recent financial difficulties, made significant investments to upgrade their team. Last season, its first without Lionel Messi of Argentina, it finished second behind Real Madrid in the Spanish league and was ousted from the Champions League in the group stage.

Kessié, who was playing in his first Champions League match, scored the game's first goal for the Catalan club with a header off a corner kick in the 13th minutes. With another header inside the box, Jules Koundé, another offseason addition to Barcelona, redirected the ball towards Kessié.

Jan Sykora was the one who scored the only goal for Vikoria Plzen against the run of play in the 44th minutes in what was the only meaningful attack from the visitors.

Substitute Ferran Torres completed concluded the scoring for Barca with a sensational volley into the net in the 71st minute after a beautiful assist from Dembélé to make it five for the home team.

Lewandowski who netted his hattrick in the  34th, 45+3, and 67th mins respectively, had already scored five goals in four Spanish league games this season, taking his tally for Barca to eight in five games since his €45 million move from Bayern Munich. He also moved past Karim Benzema to become the third highest scorer in the history of the Champions League.

The Polish international has now registered 89 goals in the competition. Only Cristiano Ronaldo (140) and Lionel Messi (125) have managed more.

Even though coach Xavi Hernández made six changes to the Barcelona lineup that defeated Sevilla 3-0 in the Spanish league over the weekend, with the additions of Kessié and Ansu Fati, seasoned captain Sergio Busquets, and freshly acquired Raphinha, the team still cruised to victory.

Xavi was all full of  praise for Lewandowski after the game;

"I am running out of praise for him," Xavi said. "He's scored a hat trick, but it's not just that. It's how he plays and how he makes the team play, finding the third man, reading the space perfectly, pressing..

"I am delighted [with him]. He has been a fantastic signing. He gives us so many solutions in attack, he's a leader, a winner... [just] a fantastic, fantastic signing."

"I don't know if he is the best No.9 in the world, but he is the best No. 9 for us," Xavi added when asked if there is a better striker in the game than the in-form Lewandowski.

"If he is not the best, he is up there with Benzema and the others, [Erling] Haaland is also there. But, without making comparisons, Robert is spectacular and it is an honour to have him on the team."

Barca remains unbeaten across five games in all competitions this season, and their next game would be away to Cadiz in the La Liga on Saturday, before facing a huge test away against Bayern Munich in the UCL on Tuesday, September 13.

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