Fati stunner gives Barcelona vital win in Kyiv

KYIV-(Reuters) – Barcelona’s Ansu Fati scored a superb second-half goal to secure a crucial 1-0 win at Dynamo Kyiv on Tuesday and revive his club’s faltering Champions League campaign.

Barca’s 19-year-old prospect rescued his team in the 70th minute with a fierce volley from inside the area after the home defence failed to clear Oscar Mingueza’s cross from the right.

However, the Ukraine champions gave Barcelona a hard time in a frantic game, with both teams missing several chances.

The victory put Barca into second place in Group E with six points, two ahead of Benfica. Leaders Bayern have qualified for the knockout stage with 12 points after beating Benfica 5-2.

It was Barca’s first away win in all competitions this season.

“We all knew that we had to win at any cost. The players were nervous before the game and you look at them now and their faces are different. Winning always helps and I hope we keep momentum for the next game,” Barcelona’s caretaker coach Sergi Barjuan told reporters.

After losing Sergio Aguero for three months, following a cardiac evaluation, Barca welcomed back Fati and Ousmane Dembele from injury and both showed, alongside fellow forward Memphis Depay, that they can bring the spark the team desperately need.

After dominating the first encounter at Camp Nou and winning 1-0, Barcelona faced a much-improved Kyiv at their home ground.

Playing with a deep defensive line and relying on counter-attacks, Dynamo threatened the visitors’ goal and came close to opening the scoring at least three times in the first half.

Viktor Tsygankov used his speed to harass Barcelona left back Jordi Alba throughout the game and Mykola Shaparenko missed two one-on-ones with keeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

Ter Stegen made a critical save at the end of the first half after a powerful shot from outside the box by Carlos de Pena.

Barcelona were also probing, with Depay and Fati involved in their attacks, but only managed to get close to Dynamo’s goal in the second half when Dembele came off the bench.

Referee Ovidiu Hategan awarded Barca a penalty for a foul on Fati but changed his decision after a VAR review. However, it was not long before Fati scored the winner with his close-range blast and Barcelona managed to see out the victory.

Reporting by Fernando Kallas; editing by Ken Ferris and Toby Davis

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