Barcelona Stars Shine In Win Over Dortmund

Soccer-Talking points from the Bundesliga weekend

Sport24.co.za | Messi comeback possible as Barcelona launch Champions League charge

Barcelona already topped Group F but have confirmed their place in the next phase, with Dortmund 's fate no longer in their own hands on the closing matchday. Later in the half Barcelona thought they had taken the lead after a nice link-up between Messi and Luis Suarez, but the Uruguayan was correctly adjudged to be offside. The centre-back played a ball right to Frenkie de Jong, leading to a one-two combination between Messi and Suarez that the Argentine finished off.

Nico Schulz nearly scored a second-minute opener for Dortmund but found Marc-Andre ter Stegen equal to his effort with Messi then unusually wasteful from a free-kick at the other end.

There was more bad news, too, for Barcelona with the familiar sight of Ousmane Dembele sitting on the turf with an injury, requiring an early substitution of the former Dortmund man, who was replaced by Griezmann.

His side now languish sixth in the league and their away form is a real weak point, with their only win in seven coming with a slender Champions League success at Slavia Prague.

What does it mean?

Directing a stern message towards the club's players, he added: "Pull yourselves together and play like it is expected from Borussia Dortmund".

Despite those setbacks, the Catalan giants remain top of La Liga and their Nou Camp dominance should be enough to see off a flaky Dortmund outfit. For the last week we have been unsure whether he will be able to play, but he has trained two or three times and made a good impression.

Sports director Michael Zorc described Friday's first-half display as "completely unacceptable" and said the club should "apologise to the spectators". Messi has now scored against 34 opponents in the Champions League, one more than Raul and old rival Cristiano Ronaldo.

But coach Favre is under pressure heading into the clash, as his side's domestic struggles continue.

The draw puts Favre under pressure on the back of their 4-0 defeat at Bayern Munich a fortnight ago, but Reus and Hummels insist it is the players who are at fault.

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