Despite striker Robert Lewandowski stealing the headlines with a hat-trick, the French winger was in sparkling form in front of the Spotify Camp Nou faithful, grabbing two assists as Xavi’s side dismantled their Czech opponents.
Midfielder Franck Kessie netted after 13 minutes for the five time Champions League winners before Lewandowski opened his European account for his new club shortly after the half hour mark.
Jan Sykora pulled one back for the visitors on the stroke of half time only for Lewandowski to pounce again minutes later to restore Barca’s two-goal cushion going into the break.
The polish marksman then completed his hat-trick on 67 minutes before substitute Ferran Torres made it five with 20 minutes remaining.
On a night when Barcelona’s wonderful array of attacking talent was there for all to see, it was Dembele who stole the show, repeatedly cutting in from the right to wreak havoc among the Plzen defence.
The 25-year-old floated a beautiful right-footed cross for Lewandowski to head home in the first half before producing an outrageous left-footed lofted pass for Barca’s new number nine to volley into the roof of the net and claim the match ball.
It is something of a statement of intent from Dembele, a player who had been tipped to leave the Catalan giants this summer with the arrival of Brazilian playmaker Raphinha from Leeds United.
And the reaction on social media has been overwhelmingly positive, with one Twitter user claiming: “He can be the best in the world.”
Another added: “They called us mad for believing in him.”
While a third wrote: “This is prime time footy. I always backed him.”
And Dembele’s manager seemed equally enamoured with his performance, with Xavi claiming that “the quality he has one-on-one is at the level of Neymar.”
Nobody can stop Ousmane Dembélé this season 🔥 pic.twitter.com/tU5cDvGLBd— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) September 8, 2022
Speaking to Spanish outlet Sport after the game, the Barca boss also added: "He is happy and enjoying himself.
“He is a player who makes a difference, assists and scores goals. He is a dagger down the wing."
Featured Image Credit: Alamy
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