FC Barcelona got the job done, but in a completely uninspiring fashion. After crushing defeats to FC Bayern Munich and Benfica, the Catalans absolutely needed to beat Dynamo Kiev at home.
They did it, but only just.
Gerard Piqué scored a header and Barcelona won 1-0, which at the very least gives the team hope they can progress into the next round.
It’s not just for pride; Barcelona need the extra income from advancing through the UEFA Champions League group stages in order to pay the bills.
The team is in the middle of a financial crisis that resulted in their best ever player, Lionel Messi, leaving on a free transfer.
Ronald Koeman’s men size up a big match against Real Madrid this weekend, but on the evidence of the last few games, Barcelona are probably second favorites.
Ansu Fati’s return from injury has provided some spark to the Camp Nou, but he’s still quite young and still building up peak fitness. There are a few bright spots, but overall, the team still looks very flat.
Dynamo Kiev were unwilling to attack, and Barcelona held the ball, happy to at least get the result.
For now, Barcelona are probably happy to at least get the win. But the bigger problems are still there, and as obvious as ever.