Ansu Fati Earns First Win for Barcelona in a Narrow Win in Ukraine
Ansu Fati scored a crucial second-half winner to keep Barcelona in contention for qualification to the Champions League knockout stages. Victory over a valiant Dynamo Kyiv secured the Spanish giants’ first away victory in all competitions this season.
Barcelona arrived in Ukraine in must-win territory, vying against Benfica for the second qualification spot in Group E. Despite that peril, there was very little on offer from the visitors, with an early Memphis Depay half-chance as good as it got for the Catalan giants in the first half. Instead, it was Dynamo Kyiv that grew in confidence and had the better opportunities. Mykola Shaparenko squandered a huge chance in space in the area, only able to scuff his shot wide of the mark. Carlos De Pena had the best opening of the half, arriving late into the area to force Marc-André Ter Stegen into a superb stop to ensure the scores were level at HT.
Sergi Barjuán’s side thought they’d earned a penalty on the hour mark after Fati went down in the box. However, after a VAR review, the penalty was overturned as the Spaniard had initiated contact with the defender. Just 10 minutes later, the visitors found their breakthrough. Óscar Mingueza’s low cross was deflected into the path of Fati who rifled the ball past Georgiy Bushchan in emphatic fashion.
Barcelona survived a late barrage to keep themselves in control of their own destiny in Group E, but face meetings with Bayern Munich and Benfica in their final two games. If the five-time champions fail to qualify for the knockout stages, it would end a 17-year run of reaching that phase and signal a new low in this disastrous era.