Barça has regained its magic. Xavi's men only took a bite out of the Belgian champions, who were discovering the C1 for the first time.
Deprived of balls and curled up in defence, the Antwerp players tried to resist the Catalan combinations, before cracking in the 11th minute.
Already scorer for his first start with his new club during the card against Betis Sevilla (5-0), João Félix struck again, concluding a nice triangle game in the area of a cross strike from the right to open the score.
This meeting against the Sevillians seems to have served as a trigger for Xavi's players as well as the Portuguese striker, in check at Atlético and who now serves as an attacking comrade to the Polish Robert Lewandowski. The new Barcelona duo brings the madness that was missing from the Catalans' sometimes too static possession game at the start of the season.
"I think these last two games are the best we've played since I've been coach," Xavi told Movistar+ after the game. "This is the way to go."
Served in depth by De Jong, Felix made his technical quality speak for himself to fix his opposite and adjust a perfect center to the second post taken by Lewandowski at range yet (19th), author of his 100th goal in European competition.
João Félix still decisive
The match then turned into a demonstration, when a Belgian defender diverted an innocuous center of Raphinha into his own goal with the help of the post (22nd).
FC Barcelona's Polish striker Robert Lewandowski celebrates after scoring in the 5-0 win over Antwerp on the opening day of the Champions League group stage, at Camp Nou, in Barcelona, Spain, September 19, 2023 © LLUIS GENE / AFP
The Catalans could have stopped there and just managed, but they wanted to make this first Champions League match in their temporary Montjuïc venue a celebration.
The 40,000 spectators, less than half the usual attendance at Camp Nou, now under construction, saw their team take more risks and find offensive momentum.
On the way back from the dressing room, Gavi collected a ball in the box after a blocked attempt by Lewandowski and did not ask himself any questions, scoring the fourth goal with a powerful strike from the left (54th).
A few minutes later, as Barça continued to develop their game, João Félix, again, signed a double of the head on a curled center of Raphinha (66th).
"We all played very well. I'm happy with this win and I'm having fun," explained the Portuguese on loan from Atlético Madrid to Movistar+. "I'm here to help and we're all looking to bring joy to the club and its supporters," he added.
The Belgians failed to crack Ter Stegen to save the honour, the German making a spectacular double parry in front of Muja, but there was in any case offside at the start of the action.
FC Barcelona's Spanish striker Lamine Yamal tries to dribble Antwerp's French goalkeeper Jean Butez during Barcelona's 5-0 win on the opening day of the Champions League group stage, at Camp Nou, Barcelona, Spain, September 19, 2023 © Josep LAGO / AFP
Entering the game on the hour mark, 16-year-old prodigy Lamine Yamal became the second youngest player in the history of the competition behind Moukoko (Borussia Dortmund).
Robert Lewandowski, scorer for the fourth consecutive game, had the opportunity to score a sixth goal but stumbled on French goalkeeper Jean Butez, whose ordeal ended in a 5-0 result.
Thanks to this first success by taking care of its goal difference, Barça takes the lead of Group H in front of Porto, also winner on the lawn of Shakhtar Donetsk.
The great Barça that dominated Europe in the last decade may not be back yet. But the average Barça of recent months seems far away.
© 2023 AFP