De Jong relieved after ‘lucky’ win for Barca

Barcelona midfielder Frenkie De Jong said his side were “lucky” to come away with all three points after a 2-1 win at Slavia Prague.

Lionel Messi put the visitors up inside three minutes at the Sinobo Stadium and became the first player to score in 15 consecutive seasons of the Champions League.

Czech champions Slavia deservedly levelled through Jan Boril early in the second half, but Barca an own goal from Peter Olayinka ensured Barca went top of group F.

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Speaking after the match, De Jong said: “I think we were a bit lucky today.

“They did good, we were not good enough especially on the ball and then (in terms of) pressure it was not our best game.

“But at the end we won an away game in the Champions League so we are happy about this.

“Sometimes you have games like this. Hopefully not too many this season but today was one of them.”

Victory for Ernesto Valverde’s men moved them on to seven points from three European fixtures and above Borussia Dortmund on the table following the German club’s 2-0 loss to Inter Milan at the San Siro.

Slavia, meanwhile, were left with nothing to show from a positive performance and slip to the bottom of the standings on a solitary point.

Lionel Messi

Barcelona’s Lionel Messi scored early (Petr David Jose/AP)

In-form Barcelona wasted little time asserting themselves on the contest and went ahead when Messi seized on sloppy play from Petr Sevcik to claim his 113th Champions League goal.

The Argentinian anticipated a loose pass from the Czech midfielder and, after exchanging passes with Arthur, emphatically slotted a composed first-time finish into the bottom left corner.

But the hosts quickly regained composure and had the better of the first-half chances as Marc-Andre Ter Stegen was forced into a string of fine saves.

The hosts continued to rattle Barcelona and were rewarded with a deserved equaliser five minutes after the restart.

Slavia’s Jan Boril

Slavia’s Jan Boril celebrates after scoring (Petr David Josek/AP)

Masopust made amends for squandering his earlier chance, chesting down a long ball forward and producing a perfectly weighted pass for left-back Boril to poke beyond Ter Stegen.

Barca were on the back foot but regained the lead against the run of play seven minutes later thanks to a large slice of luck.

Former Liverpool forward Suarez, without an away goal in the Champions League for more than four years, attempted to divert a deep Messi free-kick back across goal and saw the ball take a heavy deflection into the net off the unfortunate Olayinka.

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Slavia manager Jindrich Trpisovsky was quoted on the club’s website saying: “If you have to lose, you should lose in this style.

“When we have five chances and we don’t score, it hurts, because we know that every mistake we make and every chance by our opponent is dangerous.

“Jan Boril is the only winner on our side tonight, it will always be written in history that he scored against Barcelona.

“But if you waste chances in the last minutes that could equalise against Barcelona, it will stay inside you for a long time.”

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FourFourTwo Staff

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