FC Barcelona v Dynamo Kyiv: 100% record in Europe intact (2-1)
An early Lionel Messi penalty and a Gerard Piqué header just after the hour preserved Barça’s 100% record in this season’s Champions League, despite a late goal from Tsygankov
Barça quickly found their rhythm against Dynamo Kyiv, with Antoine Griezmann going close as early as the third minute. With almost exclusive possession for the home side, it seemed only a matter of time before they took the lead, which they duly did via a Lionel Messi penalty after the No.10 was upended by Popov.
By the seventh minute, Barça had hit the bar and seen Griezmann almost add another, as they really kept their foot on the accelerator. The pattern continued throughout the opening quarter hour, Messi drawing a full-length dive from Neshcheret.
To evidence Barça’s dominance, it took until the 20-minute mark before Dynamo had their first purposeful attack. However, on 35, the visitors almost equalised and would’ve done so were it not for the returning Marc ter Stegen, who pulled off a magnificent save
The half ended as it had begun, with Dynamo’s backs against the wall though playing a rigid and difficult to break down 4-4-2 system, and Barça working the ball left and right and waiting for a second goal, which almost came right on half-time, Neshcheret with a smart stop from Ansu Fati.
Ter Stegen was called into action again in the opening minute of the second half, saving well from Tsygankov. From the resulting corner, Kędziora thought he’d scored, only for the official to have adjudged the set piece had gone out of play.
Neshcheret’s one-handed save stopped Messi from adding to the score from a direct free-kick just before the hour, and a point-blank stop kept out a powerful header from Sergi Roberto, however, he could do nothing a minute later as Gerard Piqué guided his header home for his first goal in 14 months.
With 15 to play, Tsygankov was in the right place at the right time to bring Dynamo back into the game, whilst Ousmane Dembélé’s rocket was destined for the top corner until Neshcheret’s intervention, both teams still looking for the win as the clock ticked down.
There were further chances at either end, but it was Ronald Koeman’s men who took the points and now look odds-on favourites to qualify for the knockout stages once more.