Ahead of Dynamo Kiev’s trip to the Catalan capital, join us as we reminisce Barcelona’s 2-0 home victory at this stage from the 2009-10 season.
Andriy Shevchenko was celebrating his 33rd birthday, and he was doing so at a ground where he infamously scored a hat trick in the Dynamo Kiev’s 4-0 annihilation of Louis Van Gaal’s Barcelona back in the 90s.
This match offered itself as a chance at redemption for the Catalans for their predecessors’ failures as well as a chance for the Ukrainians to earn bragging rights at the home of the European champions.
Having born witness to the defeat in 1997, Puyol had nothing but revenge in mind. Barcelona secured all three points and their first Champions League win of the season courtesy of a neat finish from Lionel Messi in the first half followed to by a goal from substitute Pedro Rodríguez later in the second period.
Dani Alves — Piqué — Puyol — Abidal
Xavi — Yaya Touré — Keita
Messi — Ibrahimović — Iniesta
Eremenko — Khacheridi — Leandro Almeid— Magrão
Yussuf — Vukojević
Gusev — Shevchenko — Yarmolenko
If Barcelona wanted to avoid a repeat of the humiliating performance from 13 years ago, then they kicked the match off in the worst way conceivable.
Miscommunication between Gerard Pique and club captain Carles Puyol left Shevchenko, a man already quite infamous in the Nou Camp, with a chance at goal but he blasted his shot wide off the mark.
In the 14th minute of the match, the hosts thought they had earned a penalty following a rash challenge in the box on Andres Iniesta, but referee Bjorn Kuipers brushed off their claims and waved play on.
The Blaugranas came close to conceding in the 20th minute. Following a corner whipped in by Portuguese left back Gérson Magrão, a crude mix of poor defending, a complete lack of concentration and a mishandling of the situation left Ayila Yussuf unmarked in the penalty area, and his subsequent shot saved on the line by Victor Valdes.
The Catalans failed to clear their lines adequately, and Ognjen Vukojevic followed up Seyydou’s clearance with a thunderous volley which, to his dismay, deflected off his teammate and went out for a goal kick.
With tensions rising, the team was in dire need of saving and their homegrown star, Lionel Messi, was on hand to pull them out of treacherous waters they were drowning into. With barely any impact in the 25 minutes, all it took was a through ball from Andres Iniesta to bring him back to life. From the right flank, the Argentine cut inside, leaving his markers in the dust, then subsequently hammered the ball into the bottom right corner of the net to get Barca into the lead.
Omnipresent. (Photo by JOSEP LAGO/AFP via Getty Images)
Messi’s goal turned the game on its head, and if not for some expert goalkeeping from Olexandr Shovkovskiy — the same goalkeeper from the 1997 victory — Barca easily could have ended the game four goals to the good.
He first expertly timed his run to pressure Zlatan Ibrahimovic into making a poor shot and moments later his excellent positioning denied Xavi what would have been his first goal of the competition that season.
Barcelona got two glorious chances back to back after that but failed to capitalise on either of them, as neither Messi’s low driven shot nor Zlatan’s subsequent chip could make past the Ukranian’s towering presence.
Half Time: Barcelona 1-0 Dynamo Kiev
Barcelona ended the first half clearly the superior of the two, and despite a slight drop in intensity, they still remained on top. Pedro Rodriguez came on for Iniesta and he proved to be the change the hosts needed all along.
A minute into the second half, Dani Alves whipped an excellent cross into the penalty area, but Ibrahimovic’s towering header fell comfortably into Shovkovskiy’s arms. The Swede then had another excellent chance to double his side’s lead, but his low driven shot was once again expertly stopped by the Ukrainian keeper.
Frustrating outing for the Swedish megastar. (Photo by JOSEP LAGO/AFP via Getty Images)
With chances coming few and far between for the hosts and with just fifteen minutes left to play, Xavi Hernandez lacerated the defence with a through ball into the path of 22-year-old Pedro. With his first touch, the Spaniard got rid of his marker, and with his s econd, on his weak foot, he struck the ball firmly into the bottom corner of the net. Game, set, match.
Full Time: Barcelona 2-0 Dynamo Kiev