Borussia Dortmund 0-0 Barcelona: 3 reasons why the Blaugrana drew the match | UEFA Champions League 2019/2020
Sept. 18, 2019
Despite coming into their Group F Champions League fixture on the back of convincing domestic victories over the weekend, neither Barcelona nor Borussia Dortmund could score a goal as they shared the spoils in a dour and largely uneventful goalless stalemate at the Signal Iduna Park.
The Catalans suffered a painful elimination from this competition at the hands of Liverpool last season and entered this game looking to start their European campaign on a positive note.
However, Ernesto Valverde and co. will now have to wait for at least a fortnight when they host Inter Milan at the Camp Nou. Dortmund meanwhile, take on Slavia Prague next.
In this piece we shall be highlighting three factors that played a role in Barcelona failing to defeat Dortmund.
#3 The home side failed to take their chances
While it might be true that the match was not exactly the cracker that everyone expected, Dortmund were still the better of the two sides and had numerous chances to win the match.
Captain, Marco Reus came closest to breaking the deadlock in the first half when he was on hand to shoot at goal from the edge of the box off Thorgan Hazard's disguised pass, but he failed to find the back of the net.
This was the first of three good chances the German international had to put Dortmund ahead, with the most glaring coming from the penalty spot. But, rather uncharacteristically, the German failed to convert.
Julian Brandt also saw his shot rattle off the post, while Jadon Sancho fired over from 20 yards when he should have done better after being played in by Paco Alcacer.
In total, Dortmund had 13 shots to Barcelona's seven, with four of those 13 being on target, and on another day, the home side would have taken their chances to condemn Barcelona to a defeat.
#2 Ter Stegen was in inspired form
Reus had an evening to forget as he was perhaps the chief culprit in Dortmund's profligacy in front of goal and while the 30-year-old could have done better on occasion, it was the form of Marc-Andre ter Stegen that prevented him from getting his name on the scoresheet.
The 27-year-old showed great reflexes to keep out Reus' shot in the first half, and produced an even better save from his former Borussia Monchengladbach teammate's penalty; diving low to his left to keep Barcelona level in the 57th minute.
At the end of the game, Barcelona kept their first clean sheet of the season, and this was largely down to the displays of their goal tender.
Ter Stegen's four saves on the night were the difference between Barcelona going home empty handed and picking up a point, and on the one occasion when Dortmund did find a way past him, his goalpost came to his rescue to keep out Brandt's strike.
#1 Impotence in the Barcelona attack
Despite the absence of Lionel Messi , Barcelona still had enough firepower in their attack to trouble the Dortmund defense. However, rather worryingly for Valverde, his forwards failed to hit the heights expected of them.
Ansu Fati was handed his second start in a Barcelona shirt but he could not keep up with his superb form and was largely an anonymous figure for the entirety of his 59-minute stay on the field.
Other than an attempted flick, Luis Suarez failed to test Roman Burki in the Dortmund goal, while Antoine Griezmann continued his away day blues in the colors of Barcelona.
Messi's introduction with half an hour to go helped add urgency to the Barcelona attack. But, even the club's greatest player could not serve as an inspiration to what was a very inconspicuous Barcelona attacking display.
In total, the Blaugrana managed just five shots, with one of those being on target and given their shocking impotence in attack, Barcelona can count themselves lucky to leave Germany with a point.