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Five talking points from Barcelona 2-1 Dynamo Kiev

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A narrow win for the hosts at the Camp Nou

(SP)SPAIN-BARCELONA-FOOTBALL-UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE-FC BARCELONA VS DYNAMO KYIV Xinhua/Joan Gosa via Getty Images

Welcome back Ter Stegen

Marc-Andre ter Stegen made a welcome return to the Barcelona team after missing the start of the season because of a knee injury and shone on his comeback.

Neto has done a pretty good job in Barca’s first eight games, but Ter Stegen showed again why he’s the No. 1 at the Camp Nou and also why the club were so keen to secure his future.

An incredible reflex save to deny Vitaliy Buyalskyi in the first half was the highlight, but the German was also needed to deny Dynamo Kiev on several more occasions after the break.

Typically Ter Stegen didn’t want to talk about which save was his favorite after the match, saying “that doesn’t matter,” but it’s fair to say Barca might not have won this one without him.

Koeman struggling to find the answers

Ronald Koeman shook his team up again on Wednesday, starting Frenkie de Jong in central defence and continuing with Sergio Busquets in midfield despite his struggles.

His Barca side started pretty well but well and truly fizzled out and will be grateful to have emerged with all three points from what proved to be a difficult evening.

FBL-EUR-C1-BARCELONA-DYNAMO KIEV Photo by LLUIS GENE/AFP via Getty Images

Barca continued to miss chances in attack and looked vulnerable once again in defense, giving up plenty of chances against a weakened Dynamo Kiev side.

Koeman also couldn’t find a way of killing off the game, despite using all five substitutes, and the Dutchman looked pretty pained throughout on the touchline

The coach spoke about needing his players to improve without the ball after the match, but Barca also need more from their manager who is struggling to find the answers to their problems.

Griezmann’s struggles continue

One player in particular who continues to be a problem for Barca is Antoine Griezmann. The Frenchman was on target against Alaves but missed an absolute sitter against Dynamo Kiev.

The World Cup winner only had to sweep home from close range under no pressure at all to make it 2-0 to Barca in the opening 10 minutes but somehow managed to miss.

Griezmann continued to plug away, working as hard as ever for his team, but the truth he is had very little impact on the game and it was no surprise to see him hooked on the hour.

The departure of Luis Suarez was seen as being a chance for Griezmann to finally make his mark at Barcelona this season, but unfortunately he continues to looks completely the wrong fit for the club.

Messi spot on again

Lionel Messi was on target again for Barcelona on what was the captain’s 150th appearance in UEFA competition for the Catalan giants.

The Argentine expertly despatched his fourth penalty of the season on five minutes after being upended in the penalty area to get Barca off to a great start.

Yet Messi couldn’t add to his tally which means, rather curiously, that the 33-year-old has still not managed a single goal from open play in 2020-21.

He probably would have if not for an inspired display by 18-year-old goalkeeper Ruslan Neshcheret in the Dynamo Kiev who made two great saves from the Barca captain.

Of course Messi still gives the team plenty with his dribbling, passing and set-piece delivery, but his lack of goals will be a cause of concern at Barca.

Unconvincing Barca in charge of Group G

Barcelona may not have convinced against Dynamo Kiev but they are now in a commanding position in Group G after three games played.

Koeman’s side are the only team with a 100% record and lead the way by three points from Juventus at the halfway point of the group stage.

A win in Kiev in their next game will secure a place in the knockout stages before their final two matches away at Ferencvaros and at home to Juventus.

It’s a good position to be in, particularly with a packed schedule after the international break, but Barca still look miles off being actually contenders to win the Champions League.