Barcelona star, Lionel Messi was the man of the moment at the Sinobo stadium, the home of Slavia as he became the first player to score in 15 consecutive Champions League seasons while also being the joint third player in the history of the competition to score against 33 different teams in the UCL alongside Juventus player, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Real Madrid legend Raul Gonzalez.
Barcelona started brilliantly on the front foot as Messi found the back of the set from a Sublime Arthur’s pass with Arthur enjoying his new advanced position.
It still wasn’t enough to ensure it wasn’t another plucky Champions league away match as Barcelona had their keeper, Marc Ter Stergen to thank for Majority of the match as he pulled stunning saves to ensure Barcelona went back to Spain with all three points.
It never got easier from there as Ter Stergen had to come to the rescue twice to ensure Barca led by the break.
The 2nd half resumed in the way the 1st ended with Barcelona probing the ball around the pitch with Dutch midfielder, De Jong and Arthur at the center.
The excellent midfielders tried to open the pitch with crisp passing but a mix of bad luck and poor finishing ensured Slavia Prague had the chance to notch an equalizer which put Life into the home supporters, who called for blood.
Barcelona had the final say though as a Messi’s free kick was bundled off Olayinka by Suarez from a very tight angle representing the resilient and persistent nature Of Suarez from old.
Barcelona coach, Ernesto Valverde changed the rhythm of the game with the introduction of Ivan Rakitic for Arthur and the vibrancy of Vidal for Busquets even though Slavia Prague knocked the gates persistently, all to no avail.
Barcelona ended the game with a 2 – 1 win and are now top of group F with seven points.
In the other group game, Inter Milan beat Borussia Dortmund 2 – 0, with goals from L. Martinez and A. Candreva.
This is how the group looks presently;
Barcelona 7 points
Borussia Dortmund 4 points
Inter Milan 4 points
Slavia Prague 1 point
Worthy of note was new signing, Antoinne Griezmann who was tireless in the first half , winning balls and jumping into tackles but quickly vanished in the 2nd half.
Frank De Jong had a decent performance but like they always say, you can always do better. Nelson Semedo was one of the best players on the pitch tonight as he made the right flank his own.
Barca, What Now?
After series of UCL eliminations, it’s now clear that Barcelona needs a striker to replace the ever aging El-Pisterol (Luis Suarez).
With the El-Clasico having been postponed until 18th of December, Barca have 6 days to prepare for a welcome of Real valladolid to the Camp Nou.