The defending Champions League winners returned home to the
But Dynamo responded almost immediately when Gerson Magrao raced past Dani Alves into the box down the left flank but smashed his shot into the side netting. That close shave only stunned the Blaugrana into action and they began bombarding Oleksander Shovkovski’s goal down both channels.
The Ukrainians, to their credit, chose not to sit back and defend in numbers, but they almost paid for it when their backline was carved open on 14 minutes. Messi played in a gorgeous through ball to Andres Iniesta but Yevhen Khacheridi executed a well-timed sliding tackle to bring down the Barca attacker and the referee waved away any penalty shouts by pointing to the corner flag.
A mad scramble on 20 minutes in front of Victor Valdes’ goal almost left the
Straight to the other end, Zlatan Ibrahimovic then left the home fans gasping in amazement as he nimbly danced his way past three defenders down the left wing but his cutback was hacked away.
However, the deadlock was broken on 25 minutes when Messi ran onto Iniesta’s delicate through pass, skipped past two challenges before rifling a low shot past Shovkovski at the near post.
Two minutes later, Messi almost replicated his goal, except the through ball came from Ibrahimovic and Shovkovski was quick off his line this time to smother the chance. Ibra himself then had a glorious opportunity in the 31st minute when Xavi released him through on goal but the Dynamo goalkeeper came charging out again to deny the Swede’s attempted chip.
The visitors had the ball in the back of the net on 40 minutes when Vukojevic rattled in a loose ball from a free kick delivery, but the linesman already had his flag up for offside.
A minute into first half injury time, Shovkovski pulled off the most miraculous of double saves to deny Messi one on one, before tipping over Ibahimovic’s looping scissor-kick.
Messi Sandwich | 'El Mesias' evades two Dynamo players
Messi continued to look lively and dangerous but without the link-up play with ‘San Andres’, Barca found clear-cut chances hard to come by. Ibrahimovic decided to try his luck from all of 35 yards out from a free kick, but his ambitious attempt sailed well wide.
‘Ibra’ had a clear opening in the 65th minute when he was released clean through on goal by Seydou Keita but his low shot inside the box was slapped away by the brilliant Shovkovski.
With 15 minutes left on the clock, Pedro wrapped up the points when he made it 2-0 to
Dani Alves almost put the icing on the cake five minutes later when his rocket of a free kick from 25 yards out was saved by Shovkovski. Xavi had an identical opportunity moments later but his attempt just shaved the bar.
Artem Milevsky almost pulled one back for the Ukrainians two minutes from time when he pounced on Sergi Busquets’s misdirected header, but his lob over the on-rushing Victor Valdes failed to dip under the bar. Valery Gazzayev’s men fought until the final whistle in search of a consolation goal, but they were unable to trouble the Barca goalkeeper again as the defending European champions registered their first win of the campaign.
KS Leong, Goal.com