?Barcelona held on for a draw on the opening day of the Champions League group stages against Borussia Dortmund thanks to some heroics from their goalkeeper,
It was the hosts who carved out the first chance of the game but Marco Reus couldn’t find a way past his compatriot
Luis Suárez created Barcelona’s first real opportunity of the match but was denied at the near post by Roman
Key Talking Point
The Black and Yellows looked to stay compact and frustrate the visitors when
Starting XI: Burki (6); Hakimi (7), Akanji (7), Hummels (9*), Guerreiro (6); Witsel (8), Delaney (6), Reus (7); Sancho (8), Hazard (7), Alcacer (6).
Substitutes: Brandt (6), Bruun Larsen (6), NAME (6).
If anyone was still unsure about Borussia Dortmund’s decision to re-sign Mats Hummels from Bayern Munich during the summer, then his performance against Barcelona did more than enough to leave no one sitting on the fence.
This might be the best 30-minute spell I’ve ever seen from Mats Hummels. He’s been a colossus for Borussia Dortmund so far. #BVBFCB
— Ben • Carter (@ben_crtr) September 17, 2019
Mats Hummels MOTM so far, absolutely outstanding.
— James (@_JamesVickers) September 17, 2019
This Mats Hummels is labelled worse than Jonathan Tah, Matthias Ginter or Niklas Stark by national coach Jogi Löw by the way.
— Complaxes (@Complaxes) September 17, 2019
The 30-year-old didn’t put a foot wrong in the first-half, breaking up attacks with perfectly timed tackles and turning over possession with smart interceptions, something which then allowed him to showcase his fantastic ability on the ball.
Dortmund’s attacking players proved once again that they’ve got what it takes to go toe to toe with European football’s best, but Hummels’ performance highlighted the club’s one biggest improvement from last season.
Key Talking Point
Despite growing as the match went on, Barcelona didn’t have their first clear chance of the match until after half-time, while their hosts had already created a number of opportunities and even won themselves a penalty.
It was clear that Borussia Dortmund had the wind in their sails and although Lionel Messi’s introduction for the first time this season helped to bring a touch more balance to the game, it was at the other end of the pitch where Barcelona’s real superstar was on Tuesday.
Starting XI: Ter Stegen (8*); Semedo (6), Pique (7), Lenglet (6), Alba (6); Arthur (7), Busquets (7), de Jong (7); Fati (7), Suarez (6), Griezmann (7).
Substitutes: Roberto (6), Messi (7), Rakitic (6).
For all of Barcelona’s match-winning players, it was actually Marc-André ter Stegen who stepped up to be counted for at the Westfalenstadion.
A strong first-half performance saw the best chances of the game thwarted, but the Germany international saved his best moment(s) for after the break, keeping Marco Reus out from the penalty spot before denying Dortmund’s came a few more times as the game went on.
we all know you’re better than Neuer that was uncalled for ter Stegen
— Daniel Farke fan account (@FearTheKirch) September 17, 2019
How was Ter Stegen that nonchalant on the second save after saving the penalty like he was picking groceries at the store and not plucking the ball just metres from the line?
— Roy (@Roygista) September 17, 2019
Ter Stegen saving Barcelona’s ass again? Not surprised.
— Tapan (@_RMTAP) September 17, 2019
Borussia Dortmund should have the edge when Bundesliga football returns this weekend with an extra 48 hours rest compared to Eintracht Frankfurt, who face Arsenal on Thursday.
Barcelona should find things a little more straight forward on Saturday, however, as they face Granada at the Nuevo Estadio de Los Cármenes.