Witness the complete replay and highlights of the Antwerp vs Barcelona match.
Commencement at 20:00 (GMT) on 13th December 2023
The arbiter for this game is M. Guida
Battle held at Bosuilstadion
This is an encounter in Europe – UEFA Champions League, Group H, Season 2023/2024
Antwerp vs Barcelona Full Match Reports
Royal Antwerp reclaimed a sense of pride after a challenging initiation into Europe’s premier competition, overcoming a Barcelona team featuring numerous stand-ins to secure a 3-2 triumph, marking only their second victory against Spanish opponents (including Barcelona) in history.
Antwerp’s sole prior success against Spanish opposition dates back to the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup of 1965/66. They initiated their quest to end that drought in the best possible manner within two minutes. Iñaki Peña’s errant pass to Oriol Romeu played directly into the path of Arthur Vermeeren, offering him a straightforward opportunity to slot home a somewhat sliced shot off the post.
Eager to exit the UCL group stage with honor, the home team persisted in pressurizing the Catalan giants. However, Mark van Bommel’s squad, having not conceded three or more goals in their previous two UCL home group defeats, succumbed again just before halftime. Ferran Torres capitalized on a pass from Lamine Yamal amid swift counter-attacking play, delivering a precise first-time shot from close range to restore parity.
The second half’s early moments surpassed the chaos of the first, witnessing an offside goal from Vincent Janssen being disallowed. Sergi Roberto initially received a red card for a seemingly reckless tackle on Mandela Keita’s ankle, later reduced to a yellow after a VAR review. Janssen then orchestrated a flawless goal, receiving a pinpoint pass into the box from Alhassan Yusuf after a turnover, gliding through the defense to sidefoot past Peña.
With nothing to lose, Antwerp embraced an audacious approach, though Barcelona made the final minutes tense. Oblivious to Porto’s dominance over Shakhtar Donetsk, handing top spot to them regardless, a weakened Blaugrana equalized in stoppage time. İlkay Gündoğan’s free-kick found the head of Marc Guiu, leveling the score.
However, a dramatic finale awaited, with Antwerp launching a counter from the kick-off. Jelle Bataille’s through-ball found George Ilenikhena, who calmly fired past Barcelona’s defense, granting the Antwerp faithful a belated moment in the sun. While the outcome doesn’t alter this season’s UCL dynamics, it marks Antwerp’s fifth consecutive victory at Bosuilstadion.
Man of the Match: Vincent Janssen (Antwerp).