Watch all the key plays as Dortmund hosts Barcelona in their Champions League group opener.

By Avi Creditor
September 17, 2019

Barcelona and Borussia Dortmund's Champions League group opener marked the season debut of Lionel Messi, but story was Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

The German saved a second-half penalty by Marco Reus and made a handful of other difficult stops to help Barcelona to a 0-0 draw at Signal Iduna Park on Tuesday. Messi, who missed Barcelona's first four La Liga games, came off the bench in the 59th minute, replacing 16-year-old sensation Ansu Fati, who had earned his debut on the Champions League stage. The final kick of the game was Messi having a chance to win it, only for his right-sided volley to be blocked before the final whistle.

The two sides largely sparred for the opening five minutes, a feeling-out period with Barcelona largely looking to pass through the lines and spring Fati down the right, with Dortmund waiting to pounce and break on the counter.

Dortmund also employed its high press, and it nearly caused a Barcelona catastrophe in the eighth minute. A wayward clearance was played right to Paco Alcacer, but the Spanish striker hooked his clear chance, perhaps shooting too quickly when had a bit more time to settle and strike.

Barcelona's first chance came in the 13th minute, when Antoine Griezmann had a look from 20 yards deflected and go wide of the post. On the ensuing corner kick, Gerard Pique flicked on dangerously into the center of the six-yard box, but no teammate was there to capitalize, keeping things at 0-0.

Ter Stegen was forced into his first save in the 24th minute after a superb Dortmund combination in the final third, which resulted in Reus having a clear look from a left-sided angle, only for the German keeper to cut off the angle and make the stop.

Three minutes later Reus was part of another Dortmund chance, whipping in a free kick from a tight angle that Mats Hummels flicked on toward goal, but over the bar.

Dortmund spoiled another chance in the 39th minute off another blunder in the back. Reus pressured Clement Lenglet, who was ill-equipped to handle the situation and eventually gifted Jadon Sancho a clear look from 20 yards out, only for the teenage star to fire his chance over the bar. Shortly after, Barcelona was forced into its first substitution, with Jordi Alba having to come off with an injury in favor of Sergi Roberto.

After the halftime break, Barcelona threatened to score through Luis Suarez, who burned his defender only to set up a tight-angled strike that was saved by Roman Burki's outstretched hand and put out for a corner.

The theme of missed opportunities continued, none more clear than what was gifted to Reus and Dortmund in the 57th minute. Nelson Semedo stepped on Sancho's foot deep in the Barcelona box, resulting in a clear penalty. Reus was denied by Ter Stegen, though, and the Barcelona goalkeeper casually pounced on the rebound to keep the score at 0-0.

There was nothing Ter Stegen could do with Julian Brandt's 77th-minute rip from distance, but fortunately for him it clanged off the crossbar, staying out to keep the match scoreless. Two minutes later, Ter Stegen was called into action again, with Brandt playing Reus into point-blank range, only for the goalkeeper to make two saves in quick succession to deny Dortmund.


Here were the lineups for both sides:

Dortmund continues group play at Slavia Praha, while Barcelona hosts Inter, with both matches taking place on Oct. 2. Inter and Slavia Praha played to a 1-1 draw in their group opener earlier on Tuesday.

You May Like