UCL: Barcelona beat Dynamo Kiev to maintain winning start

Barcelona narrowly squeezed past a tough Dynamo Kiev 2-1 in 2020/21 UEFA Champions League Group G action on Wednesday night at the Camp Nou.Lionel Messi converted an early penalty, while Gerard Pique tacked on a second with a second-half header before Dynamo pulled one back to make for an interesting finish. While it was another European win for the Catalans, it was far from convincing and will certainly leave Ronald Koeman in a sea of doubts as Barcelona try to kickstart their domestic campaign at the weekend. If not for the heroics of goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen, making his season debut, it could have been ugly for the home side.Koeman offered up a couple surprises in his starting XI, beginning with the inclusion of Frenkie de Jong at centre-back to pair with Gerard Pique, while Sergino Dest was selected to man his preferred right-back position. Barcelona enjoyed a quick start, with Messi drawing a penalty inside the first four minutes and the Argentine converting from the spot a minute later for a 1-0 lead.It should have been two for the hosts just minutes later when Dest lasered a cross over to Pedri, who hammered the crossbar with a shot. That was followed by a point-blank chance for Antoine Griezmann, who missed wide badly. Messi almost then ripped in his second of the night after a slick lay-off from Ansu Fati. But Dynamo began to gain a foothold and had a strong spell midway through the half, breaking up Barcelona’s rhythmic passing and then launching on the counter-attack. One such chance should have yielded the equaliser when Vitaliy Buyalskyi headed toward goal and Ter Stegen made a miracle reaction save.Ter Stegen made a miracle reaction saveBarcelona’s heads were still in the half-time dressing room for the start of the second stanza, as Viktor Tsygankov beat Jordi Alba to face Ter Stegen one-on-one, but the German stopper made another top save. Ter Stegen then saved Barcelona a third time when Vladyslav Supryaha beat De Jong and the shot glanced off the stretched foot of the home side’s No.1.Koeman’s men needed to get things going and after a near-miss on a Messi free-kick. Koeman brought on Sergi Roberto and Ousmane Dembele for Miralem Pjanic and Griezmann respectively. The spark of energy from that duo paid immediate dividends, as Pique doubled the margin 2-0 by turning in a header off an Ansu Fati cross.The next two changes for the hosts were Clement Lenglet for Sergio Busquets and Francisco Trincao for Ansu Fati, and Lenglet had barely entered the fray when he was beaten by Benjamin Verbic and the rebound off of Ter Stegen was turned in by Tsygankov to cut the Barcelona lead to 2-1. The final substitution was Carles Alena for Pedri and despite some nervy moments, the Barcelona defence managed to see things out to nail down the three points

Source: Marca

About Babalola Olamide 1048 Articles
Babalola Olamide is a goal oriented young Nigerian, a knowledge seeker and also a lover of sports, A graduate of computer science from Lagos State University that loves adventure, travelling and good music

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