A first appearance of the season for Lionel Messi could not help Barcelona secure a win for Barcelona in the side’s Champions League clash with Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday evening.
How the teams lined up
Having missed the start of the campaign with a calf injury, Messi took to the bench for Barca as Ernesto Valverde made one change to the side that wrapped up a 5-2 win over Valencia at the weekend. Carles Perez was replaced by Luis Suarez who joined a forward three including Antoine Griezmann and the impressive Anssumane Fati.
Lucien Favre also made just the one change to his Dortmund side that thrashed Leverkusen 4-0 last Saturday, with Thorgan Hazard recovering from a rib injury to replace fellow new recruit Julian Brandt in the starting eleven.
Story of the first half
With the hosts looking the livelier in the opening stages, it was Barcelona that created the first clear opportunity of the game when a Gerard Pique header went flying across the face of the goal.
BVB had a couple of opportunities to break the deadlock before the half time whistle, with Marco Reus seeing a close-range effort saved by compatriot Marc-Ander ter Stegen and Jadon Sancho firing over from 20-yards following a pass from former Barca striker Paco Alcacer.
Dortmund were gifted a penalty in the 57th minute when Nelson Semedo trampled on Sancho’s foot, however, Reus’ spot-kick was stopped from a fantastic ter Stegen save. This was the fourth penalty in six that the keeper has saved in the tournament, matching a tournament record by Shakhtar Donetsk’s Andriy Piatov.
Another record was broken with Fati becoming Barcelona’s youngest ever player in the Champions League, but a quiet performance from the 16-year old resulted in Messi taking his place on the field. Dortmund still looked to pull off a shock victory, however, with Alcacer and Reus hitting shots over the bar and Brandt long-range shot smashing the woodwork ensuring that both sides ended up with a point.
What next for the clubs?
Both sides return to league duty this weekend, with Dortmund travelling to Eintracht Frankfurt on Sunday evening, with Granada hosting Barcelona on Saturday.
Borussia Dortmund (4-2-3-1): Burki; Hakimi, Akanji, Hummels, Guerreiro; Witsel, Delaney; Hazard (Brandt, 73), Reus, Sancho; Alcacer (Bruun Larsen, 87)
Barcelona (4-3-3): ter Stegen; Semedo, Pique, Lenglet, Alba (Roberto, 40); Arthur, Busquets (Rakitic, 60), De Jong; Fati (Messi, 59), Suarez, Griezmann