Barcelona went to Ukraine for a huge Champions League group stage match against Dynamo Kiev and came away with a hard-fought 1-0 victory that puts them in a strong position to qualify for the Round of 16 in Matchday 5. The Blaugrana took the initiative and looked for goals all night, and Ansu Fati scored a beautiful winner to give Sergi Barjuan’s team three crucial points.
Barça took the initiative from the very start, dominating possession and looking to exploit space through the wings to create opportunities. The Blaugrana were dangerous and had very good attacking moments throughout the half, but they never created a true chance except for a header by Nico González that was saved by the goalkeeper.
Dynamo were also dangerous themselves whenever they had a chance to go on the counter, and Shaparenko had perhaps their best chance when he received a cross in great position inside the box but sent his shot wide of the mark.
On the balance of play neither team deserved to lose but Barça were the closest to a goal, and they needed to be a little sharper with the final ball to find the goals in the second half.
The second half followed a very similar script to the first, with Barça having the ball and attacking but struggling to find a real opportunity while Dynamo waited for the right opportunity to go on the counter.
Ansu Fati started to really influence the game as the second half went on, and he gave Barça a golden opportunity when he was brought down by Kedziora inside the box. The referee initially gave a penalty, but after going to the VAR screen the decision was reversed as Fati was judged to have kicked the Kiev defender.
Just a few minutes later, though, Fati came on the scene again, was the quickest to the ball after a cross from Óscar Mingueza was deflected and fired an absolute rocket into the roof of the net to put Barça ahead with 20 minutes to go.
Dynamo had a very strong response to going behind and had several dangerous attacks, including a shot from Tsygankov that was well saved by Marc-André ter Stegen. As we reached the final minutes the home team amped up the pressure and the Barça defense looked more and more vulnerable, but they managed to hold on to the ball until the final whistle.
Barça will finish Matchday 4 in second place thanks to Benfica’s loss to Bayern Munich and can clinch a spot in the Round of 16 three weeks from now. That was the most important thing in this game and Barça achieved it, and they once again played well enough to win by more than just the one goal. Well done, boys!
Dynamo Kiev: Bushchan; Kędziora (Tymchyk 77’), Zabarnyi, Syrota, Karavaev; Sydorchuk, Shaparenko (Shepeliev 81’); Tsygankov, Buyalskiy (Lednev 81’), De Pena (Verbic 77’); Garmash (Vitinho 71’)
Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Mingueza, García, Lenglet (Araujo 79’), Alba; Nico, Busquets, De Jong; Gavi (Dembélé 65’), Memphis, Fati (Balde 87’)
Goal: Fati (70’)