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Dynamic Dest and brilliant Braithwaite grab chance to impress for Barcelona

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Unsung heroes to the fore

Dynamo Kyiv v FC Barcelona: Group G - UEFA Champions League Photo by Stanislav Vedmid/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Well, who saw that coming?!

A comprehensive victory in the end over a stubborn Dynamo side, and one which saw Ronald Koeman become the first coach in Barcelona’s history to win his opening four Champions League games.

It only papers over the cracks as far as his tenure at the club goes of course, but today isn’t a day to be negative.

There were plenty of positives to take from the performance, not least the contributions of Sergino Dest and Martin Braithwaite.

The full-back played precisely the kind of game that everyone expected of him, and which left most scratching their heads when Sergi Roberto was preferred to him last time out.

Dynamo Kyiv v FC Barcelona: Group G - UEFA Champions League Photo by Stanislav Vedmid/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

His goal was the icing on the cake, for his all-round game on the night was faultless.

Forget his age and concentrate on what he brings to the side. A purposeful attacking threat the likes of which the club haven’t had since Dani Alves departed. Moreover, Dest, though still learning, offers an awful lot in a defensive sense too - something that Brazilian was often taken to task for.

Braithwaite had a night to remember too. The Dane has had his detractors, but he’s never been anything other than ultra professional.

It’s accepted that he’ll not get as many minutes as the bigger names in the attacking area of the squad, but he showed once again that, when given the chance, he works hard and unselfishly for the good of the team.

Tuesday night saw him earn rewards that were long overdue to him, and before anyone belittles the fact that he scored twice, remember that Luis Suarez hadn’t scored away in the Champions League for an absolute age.

Dynamo Kyiv v FC Barcelona: Group G - UEFA Champions League Photo by Stanislav Vedmid/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

That he was back in the gym at the Ciutat Esportiva doing bike work and taking an ice bath before 5am, whilst every single one of his team-mates had long since gone home - straight from the airport - tells you everything about Braithwaite’s mindset.

In this day and age, players like that are gold dust. Rumours of a January move elsewhere may or may not be true, but Barca will be worse off without him.

I can’t sign off without also tipping my hat to Oscar Mingueza.

There can’t have been too many more accomplished debuts, and the calmness with which he took on his task and responsibilities suggests that he might just have played his way into regular first team contention.