Champions League: Borussia Dortmund held to goalless draw by patchy Barcelona as Lionel Messi makes first appearance of season

Even with the Argentine on the field, Dortmund looked more dangerous after captain Marco Reus’ 57th-minute penalty was saved by Marc Andre ter Stegen

Reuters September 18, 2019 10:54:44 IST
Champions League: Borussia Dortmund held to goalless draw by patchy Barcelona as Lionel Messi makes first appearance of season
  • Barca's in-form 16-year-old Ansu Fati became the club's youngest player to feature in a UEFA competition when he started

  • Dortmund's Jadon Sancho was subdued while Fati showed none of the scoring form that has turned him into the latest football sensation in Spain

  • Messi's introduction on the hour gave the Spaniards more pace and he made some darting runs but did not create enough for a goal

Dortmund: Borussia Dortmund hit the woodwork and had a penalty saved before drawing 0-0 with Barcelona in their Champions League Group F opener on Tuesday, with Lionel Messi making his first appearance of the season for the Spaniards.

Champions League Borussia Dortmund held to goalless draw by patchy Barcelona as Lionel Messi makes first appearance of season

Lionel Messi in action during Barcelona's match against Borussia Dortmund. AP

Barca’s in-form 16-year-old Ansu Fati became the club’s youngest player to feature in a UEFA competition when he started but failed to make any real impact before being replaced by fit-again Messi just before the hour mark.

Even with the Argentine on the field, it was the Germans who were more dangerous after captain Marco Reus’ 57th-minute penalty was saved by Marc Andre ter Stegen.

Reus was denied twice more by Ter Stegen and Julian Brandt rattled the crossbar with a thundering shot in the 77th.

“It feels terrible,” Reus told reporters. “My penalty was badly taken. We could have won it as our performance was good. It would have been the ideal start. But we can build on this.”

Finding space in or around the box was virtually impossible for either side in the first half and the expected fireworks between two sides known for their attacking game never materialised.

Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho was subdued while Fati showed none of the scoring form that has turned him into the latest football sensation in Spain.

It took Dortmund 25 minutes to carve out their first chance with a fine Thorgan Hazard through ball that sent Reus into the area but his Germany teammate Ter Stegen got the better of him.

Luis Suarez wriggled into the box to create a rare chance and tried to surprise Roman Buerki with a clever shot from a tight angle but the Dortmund keeper did well to guard the near post and palm the Uruguayan’s effort wide.

Dortmund, who kept a clean sheet at home through the group stage last season, were then awarded a spot-kick when Sancho was brought down but Ter Stegen picked the right corner to stop Reus’ penalty. He was on hand again later to block a Reus shot.

Messi’s introduction on the hour in the forward’s first game since his pre-season injury gave the Spaniards more pace and he made some darting runs but did not create enough for a goal.

“We suffered a lot,” Barca coach Ernesto Valverde told reporters. “It was something we already knew would happen. We lacked depth in the last metres and we did not have as many chances as they had. Fortunately, Marc was very good.”

In the group’s earlier game Inter Milan were surprisingly held to a 1-1 home draw by Slavia Prague.

 

 

Updated Date:

also read

ISL 2021-22: After loss in opening game, FC Goa hope to bounce back with win over Jamshedpur
Sports

ISL 2021-22: After loss in opening game, FC Goa hope to bounce back with win over Jamshedpur

The loss against Mumbai City FC on Monday meant FC Goa's league-record 15-match unbeaten streak came to a crashing halt.

'We'll fight until final whistle', says India women's football coach Thomas Dennerby ahead of Brazil match
Sports

'We'll fight until final whistle', says India women's football coach Thomas Dennerby ahead of Brazil match

India are currently ranked 57th while Brazil are placed 50 spots above them. Citing the higher level of the opponents, India captain Ashalata Devi said it will be a "huge opportunity" for her side to play against a top team in the world.

Serie A: Injured Federico Chiesa ruled out till after Christmas, says Juventus
Sports

Serie A: Injured Federico Chiesa ruled out till after Christmas, says Juventus

Italy forward Chiesa played just the first half of Saturday's 1-0 home defeat to Atalanta and in a statement Juve said that he had picked up a low-grade tear in his left thigh.