BARCELONA: Gerard Pique revived Barcelona’s hopes in the Champions League campaign earlier this morning when he scored the game’s lone goal in a 1-0 win over Dynamo Kiev which was witnessed by only half the spectators at the Camp Nou.
Only 45,968 attendances were recorded with some seats looking empty for a match deemed a must -win for coach Ronald Koeman if he is to advance to the last 16 group.
After losing their opening two Group E matches, 3-0 to Bayern Munich and Benfica, Barcelona needed a win to advance and avoid relegation as early as the group stage for the first time since 2000.
Pique made sure it could be done with a close -range finisher at the end of the first half and they will face an important match in Kiev within two weeks.
Before that they will face Real Madrid in the first Clasico of the season on Sunday with the win will give a positive week for Koeman whose future looks bleak when he loses to Atletico Madrid before the international break.
Pique’s goal made the player Barcelona’s oldest scorer in the Champions League at the age of 34 years 260 days but it was an exciting day for 18-year-old Ansu Fati who signed a new contract today.
Fati, whose contract expires at the end of this season, still needs to be careful when playing after being sidelined for 11 months due to injury.
He came off the bench after playing against Valencia last Sunday and will likely be used against Real Madrid this weekend.
“He’s still lacking in touch and that’s normal,” Koeman said. “You have to think that he hasn’t played in a long time. He needs time, to improve immediately.”