Ousmane Dembele is making himself at home in the Champions League
There was a bit of debate over whether Ousmane Dembele would even feature against Tottenham after turning up for training late again in the run-up to the match.
Not only did he feature, he got Barcelona off to the perfect start with a brilliant run and finish for his ninth goal of the season in all competitions.
He now has two goals and an assist in four Champions League appearances this season and really seems to thrive at home in Europe’s elite competition:
3 - Ousmane Dembele has scored in each of his last three Champions League appearances at Camp Nou. Opener. #BARTOT— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 11, 2018
It’s been quite a week for the 21-year-old, but he showed once again what an exciting talent he is and how dangerous he can be.
Important night for Miranda & Alena
Ernesto Valverde rewarded youngsters Juan Miranda and Carles Alena by handing them their Champions League debuts against Tottenham.
Miranda became the first Barcelona player born in this millenium to play in Europe’s top competition. Interestingly the duo are the first La Masia graduates to debut in the Champions League since Wilfrid Kaptoum in 2015.
It completed a fine spell for Alena who scored his first senior goal for the club on his last appearance, has been handed a place in the first-team squad and now started in the Champions League.
Miranda is also getting closer to the first-team. The 18-year-old played all 90 minutes and his inclusion allowed Jordi Alba a rest.
Barcelona are lucky to still have Cillessen
Jasper Cillessen was given some deserved minutes against Tottenham and demonstrated once again how good a goalkeeper he is with some terrific saves.
The Dutch star brilliantly denied Christian Eriksen, Son Heung-min and Lucas Moura before he was eventually beaten by the Brazilian late on.
Cillessen was easily Barcelona’s star man during the match, as he showed once again he’s far too good just to be a bck-up.
He’s been linked with a move away from Barcelona before and you can expect more speculation, particularly on the evidence of this performance.
Cillessen is far too good not to be starting every week, and while Barcelona would love him to stay nobody could begrudge him a move if a good opportunity were to arise.