Slavia Prague held Barcelona to a draw at Camp Nou last night in a UEFA Champions League Group F tie. Out of the last 46 games, this is the first time that the Blaugrana couldn't score a goal during a home game.
Lionel Messi had a frustrating night out on the field as his best shot struck the bar. This was also Barca's best attempt out of all the six shots they shot on target. Although Messi was at full fitness and was showing glimpses of his brilliance, he was unable to snatch the game away from Slavia.
During the first half, Messi's left-footed strike was eventually saved by Slavia goalkeeper Ondrej Kolar, which otherwise could have seen the home team opening their account.
Since 2012, this marked the first instance that the Argentine talisman neither scored nor assisted in a UCL home game.
Ernesto Valverde's side is still at the top of the Group F points table after playing four matches. They've won twice and drawn twice. With eight points, Barcelona is one point clear of Borussia Dortmund. Dortmund beat Inter Milan 3-2 in a thriller match at the Westfalenstadion.
Right from the initial minutes of the match, Slavia showed strong intent. Their players created some early chances. In the fourth minute, Petr Sevcik's square pass could have aroused more frustrations for the home side, but striker Peter couldn't convert the opportunity into a goal.
Barca looked uninspired right from the beginning of the match. Portuguese right-back Nelson Semedo broke clear of the opponent's defence twice during the game. However, he wasted the final ball in both instances.
The Video Assistant Referee (VAR) came into action as both sides had their goals disallowed for offside. First, Slavia's Jan Boril saw his close-range finish ruled out. Then, it was Barca's Arturo Vidal's turn.
After the match, Barca coach Valverde spoke to the reporters. As BBC reports, Valverde said "We haven't been convincing, either on Saturday or today, and we know there is a lot of pressure now on the team. We have to respond."
The defending La Liga champions will next face Borussia Dortmund at Camp Nou in the Champions League on Wednesday, November 27. On the other hand, Slavia will host Inter Milan on the same day.