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FC Barcelona got their 2020/21 Champions League campaign off to the perfect start with a 5-1 win against Ferencváros on Tuesday night. The first-time visitors to the Camp Nou might have got off to a plucky start, but the game eventually took its logical course. The Catalans never looked like they were going to be getting anything less than the full three points, and even when they had to play the last 20 minutes a man down after Pique was red carded, they still managed to add a further two goals to the night's tally.
Leo from the spot
The Hungarian champions, playing their first Champions League game for 25 years, were in no way intimidated by the (albeit empty) Camp Nou. Norwegian striker Tokmac Nguen blasted a fine finish into the back of the net after just 11 minutes but the goal was ruled out for offside, and Brazilian Isael rifled one onto Neto’s crossbar.
So Barça had certainly not had everything their own way when they took the lead from the penalty spot on 27 minutes. Leo Messi’s spectacularly mazy run was cut short by an obvious foul, and the Argentinian coolly converted from the spot, in doing so making it 16 consecutive seasons of GOAT goals in the competition!
Top goalkeeping from Dibusz prevented Barça from extending their lead before they finally did. Shortly before the interval, the assist from Frenkie de Jong was as exquisite as the finish from Ansu Fati was composed. After a shaky start, the home side were now in complete control.
Having become the youngest player ever to score two goals in the UCL, Ansu then delivered a glorious assist after the restart. Collecting from Messi on the edge of the area, he cunningly heeled it the way of Philippe Coutinho and the Brazilian tucked it out of reach of Dibusz.
The game looked as good as decided but there was an unexpected twist on 68 minutes when Tokmac was through on goal and Gerard Piqué was adjudged to bring him down. The centre back was red-carded, and Ihor Kharatin made no mistake from the spot.
Barça were a man down, but comfortably ahead, and if there was any doubt that this game wasn’t already theirs, the fourth goal dispelled it for good. It was Pedri who scored it on the night of his Champions League debut, but just as much of the credit goes to Ousmane Dembélé for the lightning run that led to it.
By now Barça were flying. Soon after setting one up, Dembélé then got his own name on the scoresheet. Messi, back to goal, played the ball right into the Frenchman’s path and that was 5-1.
Juventus win in Ukraine
The result leaves Barça top of the group after the first round of matches, on goal difference ahead of Juventus, who got their own campaign off to a winning start, 2-0, at Dynamo Kyiv, with Alvaro Morata scoring both goals.
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