Borussia Dortmund 0-0 Barcelona: Three talking points as Barcelona salvaged a draw against wasteful Dortmund

Aveek Chakraborty


Bengaluru, Sept. 18: Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen saved a second-half penalty as the Spanish giants escaped from their Champions League curtain-raiser with a goalless draw against Borussia Dortmund.


Barcelona started the game with the better of the two, with the home side on the backside. Ernesto Valverde's side dominated much of the possession in the first half as well as second half but BVB had more clear cut chances to win the game than the visitors.


Suarez created Barcelona's only big opportunity of the match in the first half but was denied at the near post by Roman BÜrki. However, the Catalan side handed Dortmund the chance to take the lead when Nelson Semedo fouled Sancho in the penalty area.


Reus stepped up to challenge ter Stegen only to be denied by a powerful left hand while also collecting the rebound. Dortmund substitute Julian Brandt struck the crossbar and Paco Alcacer also went close against his former side.


Barcelona started their game without Lionel Messi, and while the 16-year-old Fati again given the chance to fill the void, becoming the youngest ever player to appear in the tournament's history.


Though, Messi stepped onto the pitch after the 60th minute of the game and brilliant in the patch, but could not make a big impact on the game. The result leaves the group all square after Inter Milan rescued a point with a last-minute leveller in a 1-1 draw at home to Slavia Prague earlier in the evening.


Here is a look at the major talking points from the game:


1) Mats Hummels still a pillar


Defender Mats Hummels showed why Dortmund brought him back from Bayern Munich with several vital interventions, starting with a block to deny Antoine Griezmann's first effort for Barcelona, then a crucial headed clearance from sneaking Luis Suarez. The 30-year-old didn't put a foot wrong in the whole game which also allowed him to showcase his fantastic ability on the ball.


2) Marc-Andre ter Stegen kept Barcelona in the game


For the heroics of Ter Stegen, Barcelona have headed home to Catalonia on the back of another heavy away defeat. For the last one and a half year, the Spanish side has had to go through a lot of rough patches, mostly in away games and the German keeper arguably has managed to come up trumps more often than not.


He saved the penalty from the fellow countrymen Reus with a brilliant left-hand dive before showing incredible reflexes to get up and prevent a rebound. In the second half, again when Reus was handed the chance to open the scoring from the box in an attempted far-post finish, he produced a marvellous save. Again in the latter half of the game, the Dortmund skipper was found expertly by Julian Brandt in the eighteen-yard box but again saw his double effort thwarted by the Barca shot-stopper.


3) Reus had a game to overlook


Borussia Dortmund surely had more chances and shots attempted in comparison to Barcelona, plus a penalty. However, the German club had to carry the burden of a wasteful forward. Reus failed to convert some big opportunities as well as the penalty.


The 30-year-old forward had a one-on-one effort blocked by Ter Stegen after 25 minutes and later saw his Germany teammate stick out a strong hand to deny him from the penalty spot on 57 minutes, and also blazed over from a decent position which may prove to be costly with more tricky games with Inter and Slavia left to play.

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