Ernesto Valverde’s FCB made a few changes to the lineup ahead of the match tonight vs BVB. Valverde opted for Rakitic instead of Arthur in the middle of the park. Moreover, Valverde preferred Dembele ahead of Griezmann on the left wing. The game started shaky for Bracelona as Rakitic’s misplaced pass left them outnumbered in the back. However they were fortunate to not concede early on.
The game then began to sway in Barcelona’s favor as they help possession well. Unfortunately, Dembele suffered another injury at the 28th minute and the Frenchman was forced off. Griezmann replaced him. Shortly after the substitution, Luis Suarez’s strike hit the back of the net. After a perfectly weighted pass by Messi fell right into the stride of the Uruguayan striker to make it 1-0. In the 33rd minute, it was the Argentine that produced his bit of magic. Suarez laid the ball off to Messi at the top of the box. Messi finished his opportunity in the bottom corner to make it 2-0. Barcelona continued to apply pressure and created chances. However, they could not add to their tally as the first half ended 2-0 in Barcelona’s favor.
It was Dortmund that made a change at the break, bringing in Jadon Sancho for Nico Shulz. The second half started as the first half ended, with Barcelona applying most of the pressure. The German side was able to create a change in which Ter Stegen was called into action, making a great save to maintain the two goal lead. Messi continued his masterclass and made a dazzling, dangerous solo run into the opponent’s box and was brought down. Uncharacteristically, Messi was shown a yellow card for simulating the foul.
In the 67th minute, it was another incredible Messi run and perfect through ball that led to Griezmann’s goal giving Barcelona a 3-0 lead with 23 minutes left to play. Jadon Sancho gave Dortmund some hope as his thunderous strike beat Ter Stegen to his near post, making it 3-1 in the 77th minute. Rakitic was given a nice ovation from the Camp Nou crowd as Artuto Vidal replaced him in the 78th minute.
Jadon Sancho thought he had scored again late in the match, but the superb Ter Stegen pushed the shot onto the crossbar to keep the game at 3-1. Moussa Wague was introduced as a last minute substitute to waste some time, replacing Luis Suarez in the 91st minute. Dortmund continued to push for a late miracle, but could not and the match ended at 3-1. The result means Barcelona are through to the round of 16 in the Champions League for the sixteenth consecutive season.
Barcelona played a bit like the Barcelona of old in this match, containing possession and creating constant opportunities. Dortmund never seemed to threaten an improved Barcelona side tonight. The biggest talking point has to be the injury sustained by the young Frenchman Dembele. He has been sidelined for a majority of his Barcelona career due to injuries. You would have to wonder of his time at Barcelona is winding down. With continuous injuries, is the Barcelona board looking for potential suitors or will they continue to stick with him as he is young and shows flashes of his talent? Barcelona now will go into Madrid to face an Atletico Madrid side that is looking to bounce back from their Champions League loss. Barcelona will go in without Dembele, Busquets, Semedo and Alba.
Here’s the angle of Adrian Navarro to the FCB vs BVB clash. What did you think about the game? Write your opinion in the comment section below.