Barcelona faced Dynamo Kyiv in the Champions League this evening in a do-or-die fixture at Camp Nou, and came away with an unspectacular but vitally important 1-0 victory.
Barcelona were bottom of Group E going into the game, yet to score a goal or win a point. They were a point behind Dynamo, four behind Benfica and six behind Bayern Munich.
Gerard Pique is the first Barcelona player not named Lionel Messi to score in the Champions League since December 2020…
— Goal (@goal) October 20, 2021
Domestically, things aren’t so hot right now either. They’re currently seventh in La Liga, a point behind Rayo Vallecano in sixth and two behind Osasuna, Atletico Madrid, Sevilla and Real Madrid. They’re five short of league leaders Real Sociedad.
Barcelona basically had to beat Dynamo to stand any chance of making it out of their group and into the last 16 of the Champions League, but the turnout at Camp Nou was poor to say the least – especially for a game of such titanic importance.
Nevertheless, Barcelona scored the crucial goal in the 37th minute through Gerard Pique. The Catalan centre-back was assisted by another of the old guard, Jordi Alba, who lifted the ball to the back post to enable Pique to score at the back post.
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) October 20, 2021
“I think you have to see that after the half-time break we created three clear chances,” Ronald Koeman said post-match as carried by Marca. “You can’t be so forgiving in front of goal. We were risking our lives. Thankfully, we were perfect defensively. We’ve been the better side, but we have to put opponents away. After an hour we should have gone three or four up.
“We know we’re at a club where you have to play well, score goals and win games,” Koeman continued. “But we must also highlight the work without the ball, in which we’ve improved. Today we weren’t at our best. We would have won by three goals difference – at least – if we had been.”