An Ansu Fati strike was enough to secure three points against Dynamo Kyiv as Barcelona moved up to second in Group E of the UEFA Champions League.
Without creating much of a spectacle, Barcelona showed efficiency and secured three vital points to move up the ladder in Group E of the UEFA Champions League. With Bayern Munich firmly settled at the helm after thrashing Benfica, the Catalans had to get a positive result to gain a relevant position for their stature in the competition.
Dynamo were by no means pushovers. The Ukrainians probably deserved three points or at least an equaliser from this game. The home side’s attackers gave Barcelona’s defence a stern test, who by all means were sloppy throughout the game.
In both halves, Dynamo proved themselves the better side, creating chances at regular intervals. Eric Garcia was the only Barcelona player who came close to scoring with a header in the first period. With the home side more lively during that phase, it was a drab 45 minutes for the Blaugrana.
The story continued in the next period, as Barcelona failed to create any notable chances to make their case. Dynamo looked the better side. However, against the run of play, the Catalan giants were awarded a penalty, which got overturned after a VAR review. But six minutes later, Oscar Mingueza’s deflected cross was smashed home by Ansu Fati.
3 – @FCBarcelona will be the first Spanish team to start a @ChampionsLeague match with three players under the age of 20 in their starting XI: Gavi 🇪🇸 (17 years and 89 days), Ansu Fati 🇪🇸 (19 and 2) and Nicolas Gonzalez 🇪🇸 (19 and 303). Bravery. pic.twitter.com/XtGbcqqHwq
— OptaJose (@OptaJose) November 2, 2021
Barcelona became the first Spanish side to field three players under the age of 20. However, the Catalans can count themselves lucky to have escaped with three points, as Dynamo rallied on after Fati struck to find an equaliser, only to fail to do so. Here’s how the Barcelona players fared against a sprightly Dynamo Kyiv side in Ukraine.
Marc-Andre ter Stegen: 7/10
The Barcelona goalkeeper should be grateful to the Dynamo attackers. The scoreline might have looked different had they been clinical, with a clean sheet a distant dream. However, ter Stegen had a rather comfortable evening, although he did keep the Catalans in the game with some late stops.
Oscar Mingueza: 4.5/10
Mingueza had a decent game overall. He is proving to be a handful from set-pieces, although the defender needs to improve his delivery massively when playing as a full-back. Ironically, one of his bad crosses deflected onto Ansu Fati’s path before he smashed it home for the winner.
Eric Garcia: 4/10
Garcia was extremely lucky not to concede a penalty and needs to make massive improvements to his game. It is quite surprising he is a regular in the Spanish national side despite such terrible, inconsistent performances for Barcelona since he signed in the summer.
Clement Lenglet: 4/10
Lenglet played like he was in the side as a reserve defender, which he essentially was due to Pique’s absence. Dynamo Kyiv had joy facing him, and such performances for a club like Barcelona should generally be unacceptable. Unconvincing display from the experienced centre-half.
Jordi Alba: 4/10
Alba is always expected to play a key role in the attack and failed to do so on Tuesday. Dynamo’s low block effectively stopped the full-back from making his customary runs into the final third.
Nico Gonzalez: 4.5/10
One of the players under the age of 20 as Barcelona made history on Tuesday. He should get full marks for showing his talent, although he looked out of place for his lack of experience with this group.
Sergio Busquets: 7/10
Busquets put in a solid performance, creating a comprehensive base that allowed Barcelona to keep possession well. He made some decisive contributions when defending the ball, with three interceptions, two tackles, while his passing accuracy was tremendous.
Frenkie de Jong: 4.5/10
For Busquets’s high-intensity game, de Jong was missing the spark to make things happen from the middle of the park.
It felt like Gavi was playing a different role. The teenage prodigy failed to catch the eye with his performance and could not reprise a wide position in a front three.
Memphis Depay: 7/10
Registering five key passes, Depay had a very good performance on the evening. The Dutchman was always a threat from set-pieces as he kept play ticking in the final third.
Ansu Fati: 8/10
Fati is slowly turning a corner and influencing games. Against Dynamo, he played a crucial role in the attack and came out with a goal. He will be exceedingly important for Barcelona this season.
Ansu Fati has scored three goals in seven games since his return from a long-term injury.
And what a finish. 😳 pic.twitter.com/j19W3S4FuB
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) November 2, 2021
Ousmane Dembele: 5/10
A lively cameo from the Frenchman who got some much-needed minutes under his belt. Still a bit rusty from a lack of game-time, which showed in his decision making.
Ronald Araujo: 6/10
Araujo came on when Barcelona were leading and needed legs to keep the scoreline tight and see the game out. He did a decent job in ensuring the three points came their way.
Alejandro Balde: N/A
Balde replaced Fati to see out the game. Did not play enough to receive a rating.