Slavia Prague 1-2 Barcelona: 3 Reasons why the Blaugrana won | Champions League 2019/20
Barcelona scraped past Slavia Prague in an enthralling encounter in Prague on the 23rd of October. The victory solidified the Blaugrana’s position at the perch of the table whereas the hosts were left stranded at the foot of the group.
The game started at a frenetic pace with both sides looking to impose their identity on the match. However, the home side blinked first, thereby allowing Lionel Messi the chance to open the scoring. The Argentine made no mistake and beat Ondrej Kolar comfortably.
Slavia pressed for an equaliser and were rewarded five minutes after the restart when Jan Boril struck a sumptuous right-footed shot past the Barcelona keeper.
Minutes later though, Peter Olayinka unfortunately put through his own net when Luis Suarez’s snap shot took a massive deflection off the Nigerian’s chest.
Thereafter, Slavia fought tooth and nail to restore parity but their efforts went in vain as the Blaugrana held on for a win.
Here is a look at the three reasons that enabled Barcelona to post a tight victory.
#3 Slavia Prague the architects of their own defensive downfall
Slavia Prague came into the game on the back of a couple of encouraging performances against Borussia Dortmund and Inter Milan. Though they accumulated just a solitary point from the aforementioned contests, they looked extremely bright and capable of holding their own on the continental stage. Thus, several expected them to throw a spanner in Barcelona’s works.
However, they got off to the worst possible start when they allowed Messi to nick the ball in the middle third and create the opening goal. Petr Sevcik was guilty of dwelling on the ball a tad too long, thereby enabling the Barcelona forward to dispossess him and march forward. The Argentine finished off the move with a side-footed finish past the keeper.
In the second half, Prague managed to find an equaliser and had the wind in their sails. Yet, akin to the first goal, they indulged in a hint of lackadaisical defending, in the process, allowing the Blaugrana forwards to get goal-side and score, albeit fortuitously.
For large stretches of the game, the hosts had the visitors on the ropes courtesy an excellent performance. However, elementary errors proved to be their undoing as they contrived to let go off the head of steam they generated, especially after drawing level.
And, as plenty of teams would testify, Barcelona rarely fail to capitalise on such mistakes.