Slavia Prague fail to take their chances against Barcelona
Slavia Prague vs Barcelona: match report; as it happened
Barcelona kept their unbeaten run in tact in Champions League Group F, seeing themselves through a tough game against a Slavia Prague side that fought right to the end.
Barcelona took the lead after just three minutes thanks to captain Lionel Messi, in what seemed like a sign of things to come. But rather than the Blaugrana having it all their own way, it was the home side that made more chances until they finally got their just rewards with an equaliser on the 49th minute through full back Jan Boril.
But their celebrations were short-lived as Barca regained the lead thanks to a Suarez effort helped in by Slavia striker Peter Olayinka, which went down as an own goal and means the Uruguayan forward’s four-year away goal drought in Europe continues.
While Slavia could not find an equaliser, the home fans in attendance will have been pleased with their side’s never-say-die attitude, which got them into several scoring chances in the dying minutes. However, their inability to finish off their opportunities will be source of frustration.
Barcelona also had their fair share of chances on the break towards the end as Slavia pushed high in search of the equaliser, but they could neither convert to put the game past the hosts.
Nevertheless, Ernesto Valverde’s side hung on to their one-goal lead until the final 95th minute to take the three points, which leaves them top of Group F with seven points and three ahead of Borussia Dortmund and Inter Milan.
Peep, peep, peep!!! It's all over. Slavia flung in the kitchen sink there at the end but to no avail. Barca take the three points and that's Slavia effectively out of the running for the last 16.
Oliyanka strikes a low header from the corner. It's a decent effort, but Ter Stegen has it covered.
Boril crosses. Sevcik heads. Ter Stegen saves with ease.
Five minutes added on for Slavia to find the equaliser. They're throwing everthing at it.
Messi shoots from the right and it takes a fine save from Kolar to stop the ball curling into the left corner.
The home crowd urging Slavia on to score the equaliser. They're all over the Barca box, but just can't get a decent shot off.
Arthur Melo makes way for Rakitic.
Dembélé sprints quickly on the break, eventually laying off a pass to Suarez on the left, but his shot is straight at Kolar. Is he ever going to end that four-year wait for a European away goal?
Foul by Vidal right on the side-line of the Barca penatly area. He's lucky that's not a penalty.
Chance Barca! Alba is found in space on the left flank by a beatifully floated pass from the midfield. He sidefoots a pass first time to Messi who has completely mishit the ball from four yards out with only the keeper in front of him. He would nail that 99 times out of 100.
In the meantime Dembele has come on for Greizmann.
Suarez miss! Messi slots a ball through into the path of the Uruguayan, he's only got the keeper to beat but it's a tough angle and he's dragged his shot wide of the far post.
Alba plays in Messi, who beats two defenders and takes a side-footed shot by the corner of the six-yard box. It's saved by Kolar and out for a corner!
Yellow card for Boril for an elbow into Messi's stomach. The Argentine needed a few moments on the ground after. It looked like it hurt.
Barcelona have a free kick in a dangerous area after a shirt pull on Alba. Messi takes, it's found Suarez by the far post and he's put the ball in with the help of Olayinka. It will go down as an own goal for the Nigerian striker, meaning Suarez' four-year European away goal drought continues!
Stanciu shoots from way out! And it's just wide of the left post. Slavia are really taking the game to Barca now!
Musopost does well to take a long ball down with his chest just outside the Barca area, he turns and draws a couple of defenders before a playin a pass to Boril, who buries the ball into the bottom right corner. Ter Stegen had no chance. A deserved equaliser for the home side.
Two major defensive blunders in quick succession by Arthur as he tried to play the ball out, he's lucky Slavia didn't do better to capitalise on them.
Peep! Barcelona kick off the second half.
Messi has now equaled the record held by Raul and Cristiano Ronaldo by scoring against 33 different teams in the Champions League.
In the other game in Group F: Inter Milan are currently 1-0 up against Dortmund, thanks to a 22nd minute goal by Lautaro Martinez. As it stands, Barcelona will have seven points and move three points clear of Inter and Dortmund. But there is a long way to go yet tonight.
Peep! Half time. Barcelona ahead but Slavia have had more chances. Two decent saves from Ter Stegen have denied them an equaliser, much like Courtois for Madrid last night.
Pique mishits as he tries to clear and the ball bobble behing him into the path of Masopust, but the Slavia midfielder has dragged his shot wide of the right post. Big let off for Pique and Barcelona.
Slavia earn a free kick just outside the box for a handball by Alba. But the direct free kick is hit straight at Ter Stegen.
Slavia controlling possession in these closing minutes of the first half, but they can't string anything meaningful together.
De Jong denied! The Dutch player finally gets a shot off after four Barca players decided to have a game of 'Rondos' in the Slavia box.
What a chance for Slavia! Ter Stegen denies Masopust, who should have done better to trouble the Barca keeper after he was played in by Boril. Moments later Olayinka has another crack but again it's saved by Ter Stegen.
Jordi Alba goes in the book for pushing a Slavia player after a challenge the Spaniard wasn't too happy about.
Slavia try to carve something out around the Barcelona area, but eventually they lose possession as the ball rolls out for a throw in by the corner flag.
Semedo plays in Suarez but he's blasted his first-time shot well over the bar.
Semedo is released down the right flank by Messi. He plays a quick first-time cross along the floor to Suarez, but it only reaches the Slavia defender.
Great save from Ter Stegen to deny Sevcik from almost point-blank range! A well-worked opportunity by the home side.
Griezmann tries to release Suarez, but the ball has clipped his heal as he rushed forward. Otherwise he was in one-on-one with the keeper.
Bit of a lull here after that early score from Messi. The visitors still in control but without a serious threat on Kolar's goal.
Barcelona controlling things here and going in search of a second. How much would Suarez like to nick one? He hasn't scored an away goal in Europe since September 2015.
Well that didn't take long. Slavia have made a massive blunder while trying to play the ball out from the back as Messi disposses the defender. He passes quickly to Arthur and continues his run. The Brazilian returns the pass, which Messi hits first time and buries into the bottom left corner from 10 yards out. Too easy for the Ballon d'Or winner.
A very deep-lying Messi floats a long pass to Alba, whose first time cross is blocked for a corner. Nothing results from the corner for Barcelona.
Peep! Slavia get the game underway on a wet night in the Czech capital.
The teams are on the field and ready to go. Here are those line ups again:
Slavia Prague - Kolar; Coufal, Kudela, Hovorka, Boril; Soucek, Sevcik; Masopust, Stanciu, Zeleny; Olayinka.
Barcelona - Ter Stegen, Semedo, Piqué, Busquets, Arthur, Suarez, Messi, Lenglet, Griezmann, Jordi Alba, D Jong.
Sottish ref Bobby Madden in charge tonight. Has anyone taught Dembélé to say "You're very bad" in Scottish Gaelic in case he comes on?
Meanwhile, Frenkie de Jong's old club Ajax have just gone down 1-0 to Chelsea at home in the earlier Group H fixture. They're going into injury time their.
Suarez's shin guards are something to behold. Are they all his kids?
Only two non-Czech players in Slavia Prague's XI tonight: Romanian central midfielder Stancii and Nigerian centre-forward Peter Olayinka, who has netted six goals in 15 games this season. Barcelona, meanwhile, have eight non-Spaniards in their team.
Barca arriving a little earlier. It's their first-ever competitive fixture against the Czech club...
Slavia Prague's defensive midfielder Tomas Soucek has scored more goals than Messi and Griezmann combined this season with 7, albeit after 16 games played. Still impressive though!
In case you missed it: a date for the rescheduled Clásico, which was supposed to take place this weekend, has been set for December 18, although LaLiga are threatening legal action over the decision. You can read more about that here.
Here's how the Group F table looks after two games. Barcelona have drawn with Dortmund and beaten Inter to leave themselves joint top with the German club. Slavia Prague, meanwhile, managed to pick up a commendable point away to Inter Milan, but were then beaten 2-0 at home by Dortmund. This will be the first-ever competitive UEFA fixture between Barcelona and Slavia Prague.
Slavia teamsheet is in: Kolar; Coufal, Kudela, Hovorka, Boril; Soucek, Sevcik; Masopust, Stanciu, Zeleny; Olayinka.
And the answer to my last question is yes. MSG are in the Barcelona XI: Ter Stegen, Semedo, Piqué, Sergio Roberto, Arthur, Suarez, Messi, Lenglet, Griezmann, Jordi Alba, D Jong.
MSG or GSM? We're not talking about the addictive additive added to Chinese food nor second-generation digital cellular networks. These are the acronyms being bandied about for the Messi-Suarez-Griezmann attacking trident which scored a goal each against Eibar last weekend. Will the MSG, or GSM, SMG, start tonight? We'll soon find out.
This will be the first meeting between the two sides in an official Uefa competition, and perhaps an apt fixture then for Luis Suarez to bring an end to an embarrasing four-year streak.
Hello and welcome to our coverage of the Champions League Group F clash between Slavia Prague and Barcelona at the Eden Arena. It's 90 minutes until kick off, so in the meantime you can follow the preamble with us here. Team news to come shortly.