UEFA Champions League 2023: Robert Lewandowski Equals Lionel Messi And Cristiano Ronaldo’s Record With THIS Incredible Feat

Barcelona striker Robert Lewandowski has become only the third footballer to score 100 goals in European club competition.

UEFA Champions League 2023: Robert Lewandowski Equals Lionel Messi And Cristiano Ronaldo’s Record With THIS Incredible Feat Barcelona's Robert Lewandowski scores against Royal Antwerp in Champions League 2023 match. (Photo: AP)

Barcelona striker Robert Lewandowski made it a memorable night for himself in his side’s 5-0 UEFA Champions League 2023 win over Belgian side Royal Antwerp on Tuesday. Lewandowski became only the third footballer after Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo to score 100 goals in European club competition (including qualifying).

Lewandowski got this record in the 19th minute to double his team’s lead, becoming only the third player to achieve this feat. The two others are Cristiano Ronaldo (145) and Lionel Messi (132).

Lewandowski’s tally comprises 92 goals in 112 UEFA Champions League games, two goals in eight Europa League outings, three strikes in four UEFA Cup games, two goals in six UEFA Europa League qualifiers and one goal in eight UEFA Cup qualifiers. In the Champions League, the Poland striker has scored six times for Barcelona, 17 times for Borussia Dortmund and 69 times for Bayern Munich.

The striker has proven to be a valuable buy for Barcelona, scoring 37 times and providing 15 assists in 52 games across competitions. That includes four goals in six games across competitions this season.

Antwerp endured a chastening evening in Barcelona, where Jelle Bataille’s own goal in the 22nd minute came after João Félix had already scored and set up Robert Lewandowski for another. There was no respite for the visitors, with Gavi adding another in the second half before Félix grabbed his second.

Porto defeated Ukrainian champion Shakhtar Donetsk 3-1 away in the other Group H game. Shakhtar is playing its home games in Hamburg, Germany because of the Russian invasion of its country.

Barcelona’s João Félix, Manchester City’s Julián Álvarez and Paris Saint Germain’s Kylian Mbappé all scored on Tuesday as their teams made winning starts in the Champions League 2023.

But the wildest celebrations of the night came in Rome, where Lazio goalkeeper Ivan Provedel headed in the team’s equalizer in the fifth minute of injury time to earn a 1-1 draw with Atlético Madrid. It was the last action of the game.

As the group stage began without either Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo for the first time since 2002-03, a 16-year-old almost scored on his competition debut for Barcelona. Lamine Yamal struck the side netting, then saw an effort saved by Antwerp goalkeeper Jean Butez after coming on as a substitute in Barcelona’s 5-0 win over the Belgian team.

Celtic finished with nine players in a 2-0 loss at Feyenoord that stretched the Scottish champion’s winless streak in the group stages to 11 games.

Manchester City come from behind

Manchester City started its title defense by coming from behind to beat Red Star Belgrade 3-1 at home. City had 22 shots on goal in the first half yet found itself 1-0 down at the break after Mirko Ivanić played Ghana winger Osman Bukari through to score in first-half injury time.

The linesman raised his flag, but a VAR check confirmed Bukari was onside, setting off celebrations among the 3,000 traveling supporters. Álvarez equalized right after the break, finishing from a narrow angle after going past the goalkeeper, and it seemed only a matter of time before the second goal arrived as the home team pushed for more.

The otherwise outstanding goalkeeper Omri Glazer was at fault when it came on the hour mark, missing the ball as he went to punch away a free kick from Álvarez that sailed inside the far post. Spanish midfielder Rodrigo sealed the win in the 73rd.

PSG off the mark

Mbappé scored a penalty to break the deadlock as Paris Saint-Germain earned a 2-0 win over Borussia Dortmund. Achraf Hakimi scored against his former team to seal what was a deserved win. Dortmund midfielders Marcel Sabitzer and Marius Wolf both left the field with injuries. AC Milan was held to 0-0 draw by Newcastle in the other Group F game.

(with PTI inputs)