Barcelona 0-0 Slavia Prague: Valverde pressure mounts with Camp Nou stalemate

By Sports Desk November 05, 2019

Barcelona did nothing to ease the pressure on coach Ernesto Valverde as they were held to a 0-0 Champions League draw by Slavia Prague in another uninspiring performance at Camp Nou.

Valverde saw his side stunned 3-1 by Levante in LaLiga at the weekend, and those expecting Slavia to fall victim to a Blaugrana backlash were left disappointed.

Lionel Messi had numerous chances to score and hit the frame of the goal on 35 minutes, but he was frequently frustrated by the excellent Ondrej Kolar in the Slavia goal.

His performance between the posts ensured the visitors earned a point they were good value for, having regularly found ways through the Barca defence at the other end, leaving Valverde's men with work still to do to progress from Group F, though they remain top with eight points from four games.

Barca's defence was cut open early and Marc-Andre ter Stegen was forced into action at the near post to keep out Petr Sevcik's deflected pull back.

Nelson Semedo then surged through one-on-one at the other end but was denied by smart save from Kolar, who would continue to impress.

The goalkeeper punched away a free-kick from Messi, who then left the woodwork shaking after he was left in far too much space and weaved his way in from the right, rattling the crossbar with a curling effort from the edge of the area.

Kolar thwarted Messi at the near post following fine work from Arturo Vidal, and the Slavia keeper produced an outstanding stop to prevent Gerard Pique's header from finding the net from the subsequent corner.

Jan Boril had the ball in the net for Slavia in first-half stoppage time, but he was correctly flagged for offside.

Sergi Roberto became the latest player to see an effort kept out by Kolar 10 minutes into the second half, before Messi teed up Vidal to slide into an empty net, only for the goal to be ruled as the former had strayed offside when latching on to Frenkie de Jong's pass.

Messi met teenager Ansu Fati's wonderful left-wing cross at the near post only to see his point-blank effort blocked by Kolar, whose goal was not threatened again as Slavia held firm with startling comfort.

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