Barcelona took their first points of the Champions League campaign with a narrow 1-0 win over Dynamo Kiev at Camp Nou.
It was a dominant display overall, with the visitors struggling to keep the ball and create chances, and Ronald Koeman's hopes of group stage progression are still alive.
Jordi Alba and Memphis Depay really set the tone for Barcelona from early on, with the fullback's cross finding Sergino Dest after just two minutes. Somehow, his first was wayward, as he headed over the bar.
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Luuk de Jong, who completed the front three alongside Dest and Depay, would follow suit consistently in the first half, spurning a number of chances created from the hosts' left hand side, with Kiev goalkeeper Georgi Bushchan helping to keep his side in it.

Dynamo Kiev's Ukrainian defender Oleksandr Tymchyk (L) vies with Barcelona's Dutch forward Memphis Depay during the UEFA Champions League Group E football match between FC Barcelona and Dynamo Kiev at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on October 20, 2021.

Image credit: Getty Images

At the other end, Marc-Andre ter Stegen was completely untested. Former Middlesbrough winger Carlos de Pena had Kiev's only attempt, but it was blocked by Gerard Pique.
Nine minutes before the break, Barcelona made the breakthrough. Alba's cross found Pique unmarked in the area, and his volley was past Bushchan in a flash.
Ronald Koeman looked to force the issue at half time with a double change as Philippe Coutinho and Ansu Fati replaced Luuk de Jong and Oscar Mingueza.
The intensity improved; first Kiev cleared Frenkie de Jong's square pass looking for Ansu, before the teenager acrobatically shot wide having dispossessed Bushchan on his goalline.
Kiev were continuously getting caught on the ball high up the pitch, but Barcelona were struggling top find a clinching goal. With 20 minutes remaining, Coutinho sliced a shot over the bar from another corner.
Sergio Aguero came on for the final 15 minutes for his Champions League debut for Barcelona, and although he struggled for an impact, they were able to squeeze out the win.

TALKING POINT - Barca avert disaster, for now

Defeat here would have been catastrophic, all but ending Barcelona's Champions League journey before it has really got going. Not since 2000 have they fell at this stage in Europe, but with their financial troubles and El Clasico to come on Sunday, losing would have been ominous. There were moments in the game, which they had no trouble controlling, but their pace and intensity is really lacking, especially when Ansu isn't starting.

MAN OF THE MATCH - Memphis Depay (Barcelona)

In truth, the game was more about character and leadership than anything more technical. Depay, Pique and Alba all stood up to be counted when it mattered, but the Dutchman was creating things in key areas and just shades this award.

PLAYER RATINGS

Barcelona: ter Stegen 6, Alba 7, Lenglet 6, Pique 7, Mingueza 7, Busquets 6, F.de Jong 7, Gavi 6, Dest 6, Depay 8, L.de Jong 5 Substitutes: Ansu 6, Coutinho 6, Roberto 5, Aguero n/a
Dynamo Kiev: Bushchan 6, Mykolenko 5, Syrota 6, Zabarnyi 6, Kedziora 6, Sygankov 5, Sydorchuk 5, Shaparenko 7, de Pena 5, Buyalskiy 5, Supryaha 5 Substitutes: Vitinho 5, Garmash 5, Tymchyk n/a, Karavaev n/a, Ramirez n/a

KEY MOMENTS

35' - GOAL! Barcelona lead, Pique! He volleys home from Alba's cross at the far post. 1-0!
53' - MISS! Bushchan is dispossessed by Ansu. The youngster goes for the acrobatics and misses, but had much better options on. Should be 2-0.
70' - CHANCE! Dest finds Depay and it is a corner to Barca. Coutinho half volleys over.

KEY STATS

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