Barcelona knocked aside the obstacle of Borussia Dortmund as the Blaugrana emerged 3-1 winners at the Camp Nou in a Group F component of the UEFA Champions League.
The hosts endured an early scare however were outstanding afterwards, implying that the German side were typically left searching for answers.
After a quarter of an hour had actually passed, Luis Suarez made the net bulge after Lionel Messi insinuated a perfectly-weighted through-ball. Nevertheless, the linesman raised his flag to rule out the goal.
Nevertheless, the Uruguayan eventually made the net bulge in the 29th minute when he rounded off Messi’s splendid pass. Four minutes later, the Argentine got himself on the score-sheet with a superb left-footed finish from the left edge of package.
After the break, Dortmund offered a bit more resistance however they were caught by the proverbial sucker punch when Antoine Griezmann discovered himself in space left wing channel and slotted past Roman Burki.
Though Jadon Sancho pulled one back and hit the post late in the game, it simply acted as an alleviation rather than as a springboard for an unlikely return.
Here is a take to look at the 3 factors that permitted Barcelona to pull a commanding triumph.
1 Lionel Messi dazzles on his 700th club appearance
Before the game began, Lionel Messi created a little history as he became just the second footballer to ever don the Blaugrana jersey 700 times. And, he celebrated that turning point on the pitch with a virtuoso screen.
The Argentine was a package of energy throughout the video game and kept presenting all type of questions to the Dortmund rear-guard. And, whenever the German side felt that they had a small option, he created even more problems, suggesting that the visitors never ever delighted in a defensive minute of peace.
The Barcelona captain combined well with the similarity Frenkie de Jong and Rakitic and provided a consistent passing outlet to the central midfielders. Furthermore, his link-up play with Suarez was exemplary as Messi teed up the previous for the first goal prior to the Uruguayan returned the favour a few minutes later on.
After the break, the Argentine established Griezmann for his first Champions League goal of the season with an inch-perfect through ball.
Apart from his goal contributions, he led the Dortmund defence a merry dance with his stunning dribbling capabilities and left the checking out midfielders and protectors lightheaded at times.
And, to cap of an extraordinary display, he struck the crossbar from a free-kick on the ideal flank.
Over the years, Messi has supplied countless memories at the Camp Nou, with his tendency to outshine himself exceptional. And, while it would be wise to not explore a discussion on his biggest ever efficiencies in the Champions League, one can’t gape but help at his proficiency in awe on Wednesday.
2 Borussia Dortmund play into Barcelona’s hands
On match-day 1, Borussia Dortmund had showcased enough assaulting verve and zeal to put Barcelona under strife. Therefore, prior to the contest at the Camp Nou, they had a design template that could be followed, wherein they could trade punches with the Blaugrana, wishing to pile up the pressure on their make-shift defence.
Nevertheless, the German outfit were very protective with their approach at the outset, a truth embodied by the option of personnel. Hakimi and Raphael Guerreiro were fielded as wingers whereas Axel Witsel and Julian Weigl functioned as the defensive midfielders. Hence, Dortmund basically had 8 defensive-minded outfield gamers, with Julian Brandt and Marco Reus showing the only anomalies.
Subsequently, they yielded ownership to Barcelona and permitted them to settle into a passing rhythm. And, unsurprisingly, the German side were put to the sword by the La Liga champs.
Furthermore, they contrived to offer the ball away in dangerous locations, something that cost them dearly through the course of the game, with the second goal exemplifying the above.
At the start of the 2nd half, there appeared to be more bent on Dortmund’s part and they immediately looked a better side and one capable of mounting a return. And, though that particular endeavour was nipped in a bud by the Blaugrana, it certainly displayed the technique the German side had missed out on.
And, courtesy their scrupulous method, they now face a clutch tie against Slavia Prague on match-day 6.
3 Barcelona run riot in the very first half
Barcelona entered into the game on the back of a scrappy 2-1 success versus Leganes at the weekend. Therefore, the Blaugrana had not gotten rid of the turmoil that had actually engulfed them prior to the global break, meaning that the encounter against Borussia Dortmund represented a potential banana skin.
To that end, the German side began quickly when they capitalised on Ivan Rakitic’ mistake to produce an effort at goal. To put things into viewpoint, Samuel Umtiti needed to clear the ball off the line when Nico Schulz got on the end of Achraf Hakimi’s cut-back.
However, as soon as that danger had been averted, the hosts turned into the game and clicked into equipment. Consequently, Dortmund were left chasing after shadows for the remainder of the half as the Blaugrana swarmed all over them and sewn together numerous tempting offending moves.
Rakitic was fantastic in midfield and he served as the ideal link between the midfield and attack. Ousmane Dembele also looked brilliant prior to he hobbled off whereas Junior Firpo and Sergi Roberto kept appearing in the final third to supply width to Barcelona’s attack.
Furthermore, Messi and Suarez showcased their telepathic understanding as the pair integrated for both goals with the previous scoring the 2nd and the Uruguayan opening the scoring.
Apart from the goals, there was real function to the Blaugrana’s belongings, an element that has been under the spotlight quite extensively in current weeks. Whenever they had the ball, they wished to advance vertically, therefore indicating a slight change in intent.
The majority of promisingly though, they weren’t lacking any motion in the center and attacking 3rd as the gamers interchanged positions with ease and caused the visitors all sorts of problems.
Over the past few months, quite a few people have been vital of Ernesto Valverde’s tactics and his extreme pragmatism. And, while that particular characteristic of his may not alter in a trice, an efficiency of such an ilk might just purchase him a bit of time.