La Liga giants Barcelona failed to score for the first time in 46 home games as they were held to a draw by Slavia Prague. Lionel Messi, who did not score or provide an assist for the first time in a home Champions League group game since 2012, struck the bar and had the best of Barca’s six shots on target.
His fierce left-footed strike was well saved by Ondrej Kolar in the first half. Barcelona remains top of Champions League Group F, while the visitors are bottom.
Ernesto Valverde’s side has eight points from four games, while Borussia Dortmund and Inter Milan had four points each going into their 20:00 GMT kick-off at the Westfalenstadion.
The visitors started brightly but the exciting Nigerian striker Peter Olayinka was unable to latch onto Petr Sevcik’s square pass in the fourth minute.
Barca were lacklustre early on and their most potent attacking threat was full-back Nelson Semedo, who twice broke clear down the right, before wasting the final ball. Messi then grew into the game, showing glimpses of his brilliance without being able to strike the decisive blow.
The Barca talisman brilliantly turned Michal Frydrych in his own half before bursting clear and firing a shot at goal, but his effort struck the crossbar.
Moments later, Kolar was on hand to keep out a Gerard Pique header with another acrobatic save.
Both sides had goals disallowed for offside after the video assistant referee (VAR) intervened, as first Jan Boril’s close-range finish was ruled out, and then Arturo Vidal’s finish was chalked off after Messi was penalised in the build-up.
Winger Ansu Fati, 17, was introduced off the bench in the second half and he quickly fed Messi with the outside of his right foot, but the Argentine could only direct his shot straight at the excellent Kolar from close range.
The La Liga champions face Borussia Dortmund at home in their next Champions League game on Wednesday, 27 November (20:00 GMT), while Slavia host Inter Milan at the same time.
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- Barcelona have extended their unbeaten home run to 34 games in the Champions League (W30 D4 L0) – the longest run without defeat on home soil in the competition’s history.
- Slavia Prague have failed to win any of their seven away matches against Spanish opposition in European competition (D5 L2), drawing their past four such games.
- Slavia Prague are the first side to prevent Barcelona from scoring at the Nou Camp since Getafe held them to a goalless draw in February 2018 (also their last 0-0 draw at home), ending a run of scoring in 45 consecutive home matches in all competitions.
- Lionel Messi has failed to score in back-to-back Champions League matches for Barcelona at the Nou Camp for the first time since March/April 2015 (v Manchester City and Paris St-Germain).
- Marc-Andre ter Stegen has conceded just 11 goals in his 26 Champions League appearances for Barcelona at the Nou Camp, keeping 15 clean sheets and never conceding more than a single goal in a game.
- Since his Champions League debut for Barcelona in September 2008, only Sergio Ramos (30) has received more yellow cards in the competition than Gerard Pique (26) – he has now been shown three yellow cards in this season’s competition and will miss Barcelona’s next game against Borussia Dortmund.
Source – BBC