Vital victory despite a sad footballing show from Barça

OPINION

@LluisMascaro

The Dynamo Kiev game was a final. Barcelona needed to win to stay in the Champions League. Their bad start put them on the ropes. A win was the only option. Koeman benched Ansu Fati because he can’t start three games in a week. Aguero too. He picked Luuk de Jong with Memphis and also selected Dest in attack.

Once more we saw Luuk De Jong doesn’t have the quality to play even at *this* Barca. The fans know it. They see it. So he got his first whistles when he missed chances. Second half, De Jong stayed behind and Ansu came on. But it was Pique who scored the goal, like a centre forward. Barca’s first goal in the Champions League, after 215 minutes this season.

Pique’s goal saved a Barca who needed a win not to ‘die’. They played badly through the game even against an inoffensive Dynamo. Not even Ansu could avoid the slump. He will renew his contract on Thursday, until 2027 with a 1 billion release clause, and he provided the little magic there was to see.

A sad game but they won. Their future in the competition is unlikely to be a long one. Barcelona will have to be a lot better going forward if they want to progress.

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