The Champions League, where three months ago, in Lisbon, it probably signed the blackest episode in its history, has curiously become the particular oasis of Barcelona in this journey through the desert that is being the start of the new season.
This Tuesday, in Ukraine, his second unit thrashed Dynamo Kiev (0-4) to chain the fourth victory in the competition and certify his pass to the round of 16. And it is that, in Europe, the penalties are less penalties for the Barcelona.
With Piqué, Sergio Busquets and Ansu Fati injured, with Messi and De Jong resting in Barcelona, and Griezmann, Jordi Alba and Dembélé on the bench, Koeman put a practically unrecognizable eleven on the pitch of NSK Olimpiyskiy in Kiev in which the presence of the subsidiary central Oscar Mingueza stood out.
The 9 of 9 in the ‘Champions’ gave the Dutch coach the perfect alibi for get a good bunch of young footballers out of soda thinking about what is coming to a team that is not for many excesses.
A Dynamo depleted by the covid gave, despite the defeat, a very good image at the Camp Nou a few days ago, and Barça, who had been warned, started getting into the game.
Well positioned behind and dominating the game, the azulgrana set set the pace from the start, although without bragging or clear scoring chances.
In fact, it was the Ukrainian team that first notified at twenty minutes, in a shot bitten by De Pena, after a commotion inside the visiting area, which Ter Stegen saved without problems.
Barcelona replied with two shots from the front of Countinho and Trincao. The Brazilian thread could not find a door and the Portuguese attempt was too focused on the Bushchan domain.
Barça had too much attitude but it lacked quality to resolve in the final meters, and Dinamo, without breaking down, scored the goal on the last play before the break, again through Uruguayan De Pena, this time with a center-kick that Ter Stegen deflected.
The home team came out a bit more spirited after the restart, but found themselves quickly 0-1, which Dest defined with a cross shot after entering the right lane and taking advantage of a failed driving by Braithwaite.
Braithwaite himself would make it 0-2 five minutes later, when he finished off a corner thrown by Aleñá and that Mingueza prolonged by heading the ball to the far post for the Danish to catch.
De Pena, on his third occasion, was about to close the gap, but ended up finishing off with his left foot an assist from Buyalskiy in a local counter.
There was almost half an hour left in the game, Barça was already classified as first in the group for the round of 16, Dinamo out and Koeman decided it was time to move the bench.
Thus came the debut in the Champions League for Riqui Puig and Konrad, and Matheus Fernández’s debut as a Barça player. Riqui, Dest and even Matheus tried their luck against Bushchan before the end. But it was Braithwaite, from a penalty, and Griezmann, in added time, who closed the win.
0 – Dynamo Kiev: Bushchan; Kedziora, Zabarnyi, Mykolenko, Karavev; Sphepliev (Baluta, min.83), Buyalskiy, Garmash; Shaparenko (Lednev, min.71), Verbic y De Pena (Supryaha, min.70).
4 – Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Sergiño Dest, Mingueza, Lenglet (Jordi Alba, min.65), Junior; Pjanic (Riqui Pugi, min.65), Aleñá; Coutinho (Griezmann, min.65), Trincao (Konrad, min.83), Pedri (Matheus, min.73); y Braithwaite.
Goals: 0-1: Dest, min.53. 0-2: Braithwaite, min.57. 0-3: Braithwaite (p.), Min.70. 0-4: Griezmann, min.92.
Referee: Matej Jug (SLO). He showed a yellow card to Pjanic (min.5) and Popov (min.69).
Incidents: Match of the fourth day of Group G of the Champions League played at the NSK Olimpiyskiy-Kiev stadium (Ukraine).
Digsmak is a news publisher with over 12 years of reporting experiance; and have published in many industry leading publications and news sites.