Slavia Prague 1-2 Barcelona: 4 Talking Points as Catalan giants register nervy victory away from home | UEFA Champions League 2019/2020
Barcelona took a major step towards qualification to the knockout stages of the Champions League as a well-taken goal by Lionel Messi and a Peter Olayinka own goal was enough to give them a narrow 2-1 victory away from home over a resilient Slavia Prague side.
In what was his second start of the campaign in the tournament, Lionel Messi needed just three minutes to open his account when he put Barcelona ahead with a calm right-footed after being teed up by Arthur.
Left-Back Jan Boril drew the hosts level in the 50th minute after a brilliant run forward, but just seven minutes later, the Blaugrana found themselves ahead once again when Luis Suarez showed great technique to convert from an acute angle although his strike was aided by a massive deflection.
With the victory, Barcelona move onto seven points and in this piece, we shall be highlighting three talking points from the Champions League fixture.
#4 Barcelona in prime position to qualify for the knockout rounds
Barcelona were one of the seeded teams during the Champions League draws and upon conclusion of the process in Monaco, the Catalans were pitted against Borussia Dortmund, Inter Milan, and Slavia Prague.
In the eyes of many, this was classified as the group of death and rightly so, as Inter and Dortmund are just a cadre beneath the elite teams and can trouble any side on their day.
The Catalans began their campaign with a goalless draw away to Dortmund, as Marco Reus' penalty miss came back to haunt the home side. While it was hardly the worst result in the world, things could have gotten a lot more severe in Germany.
A comeback 2-1 victory was recorded over Inter on matchday 2 at the Camp Nou and with the Italians locking horns with Dortmund in a doubleheader, the onus was on Barcelona to deliver the goods against Slavia.
Although not entirely convincing, they ultimately did enough to get all three points and move to the top of the table; three points clear of second-placed Inter.
Ernesto Valverde's men would heavily fancy their chances of getting maximum points against Slavia in the reverse fixture and with Inter and Dortmund set to lock horns once again, Barcelona are primed to make it through to the knockout stages.
With two home fixtures left, barring a capitulation of extreme proportions, Barcelona would top their Champions League group for a record-extending 13th consecutive season, while also qualifying from the group stage for a 16th straight campaign.