By 90Min
November 06, 2019

It was a tough night for Barcelona and Lionel Messi on Tuesday, as the Catalan giants were held to a shock 0-0 draw by Slavia Prague in the Champions League group stages.

The Czech visitors held firm against Barça, who underwhelmed on the night. While the visitors didn't manage a single shot on target, they were able to nullify Barça's array of attacking talent, limiting the hosts to only six shots on target over the 90 minutes. 

It was a laboured display from La Blaugrana, who still sit top of Group F with eight points, but their lack of creativity and end product will be of great concern to under-fire coach Ernesto Valverde. 

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The stalemate comes as an even greater surprise, given talisman Messi's incredible home record in the European competition. 

Opta provided the unbelievable statistic that the Argentine star did not score or provide an assist for the first time in a home Champions League group game since way back in December 2012 - as his side drew 0-0 against Benfica - demonstrating the 32-year-old's irreplaceable importance to his side. 

It was a night of broken records for Messi, but mainly for all the wrong reasons, as the Barça star has now failed to score in back-to-back UEFA Champions League matches at the Camp Nou for the first time since March/April 2015 (vs Manchester City and PSG). 

Messi did rattle the crossbar for the hosts, who were left frustrated by an inspired display from the Slavia Prague goalkeeper Ondrej Kolar. 

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During the game, former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, who was working for beIN Sports as an analyst, criticised Barcelona's recent performances, claiming the club have no plan other than to "wait for Messi to do something."

Barça's poor performance follows their shock away defeat to La Liga outfit Levante, who blew the Spanish champions away with three goals in seven minutes, leaving Valverde's position at the club under serious threat. 

Los Cules had won seven matches on the bounce before the defeat to Levante, and Messi had looked in imperious form going into the month of November. Despite the defeat, Barça remain top of La Liga after 11 matches, although Valverde has benefitted from the poor starts made by Atletico and Real Madrid thus far. 

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