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Viktoria Plzen 2-4 Barcelona: Champions League League match report and player ratings

A brace from Ferran Torres and additional goals from Marcos Alonso and Pablo Torre sealed three points for Barcelona on a night where they were reminded of what could have been after dropping down to the Europa League

La Liga giants Barcelona reminded the rest of Europe what they are capable of with a 4-2 away win at Czech champions Viktoria Plzen tonight after Spanish international Ferran Torres bagged a brace to help his form in the run-up to the 2022 World Cup as Xavi’s men expectedly put Plzen to the sword.

Additional strikes from Marcos Alonso and Pablo Torre sealed three points for Barça on their travels but it was all for naught for Xavi’s men after the club had already confirmed their exit from the Champions League, and for the second season since the departure of Lionel Messi, the Catalunyan side will now look to navigate the Europa League instead.

Despite a massive recruitment drive this summer and domestic form that sees them just one point adrift of bitter rival Real Madrid, Barcelona struggled mightily on the continent in a group that contained tough opposition in the vein of German juggernaut Bayern Munich and Italian stalwart Inter Milan.

Barça took just one point from a possible twice in their four fixtures against their group rivals, with nine of their twelve goals coming against Plzen in a pair of big wins.

It is a damning indictment of where the club currently stands in Europe regardless of how well they have progressed on the home front, and though ending the group with a win looks good on paper, there is no telling if their confidence in the continent has already been dented beyond repair.

Last season Barcelona – arguably the biggest club in the competition and much of the same could be the case this season, other than Manchester United – could only make the quarterfinals before being ousted by eventual winners Eintracht Frankfurt.

Barcelona Player Ratings

GK: Iñaki Peña (7.5)

RB: Héctor Bellerín (6.5)

CB: Gerard Piqué (7)

CB: Marcos Alonso (8)

LB: Jordi Alba (7)

DM: Franck Kessié (6.5)

CM: Gavi (7)

CM: Pablo Torre (7)

RW: Raphinha (8)

LW: Ferran Torres (8.5)

CF: Ansu Fati (6.5)

Sub: Alejando Balde (6)

Sub: Marc Casadó (6.5)

Sub: Álvaro Sanz (6)

Sub: Ousmane Dembélé (6)

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Andrew Thompson

US-based Football writer. German football guru with a wealth of experience in youth development and analysis. Data aficionado. Happily championing the notion that Americans have a knowledgeable voice in the beautiful game.

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