Barcelona certified for the Champions League final 16 with two video games to spare on Tuesday as Martin Braithwaite scored twice in a 4-Zero win over Dynamo Kiev. Lionel Messi was amongst a handful of key gamers rested for Barca however Braithwaite’s double, in addition to targets from Sergino Dest and substitute Antoine Griezmann noticed the Catalans safely via, becoming a member of Juventus in progressing from Group G. First and second place are nonetheless to be settled, with Barcelona taking part in away at Ferencvaros subsequent week earlier than a possible decider at residence to Juve, who beat the Hungarian aspect 2-1 in Turin due to a late Alvaro Morata winner.
“We’ve achieved our objective,” stated Ronald Koeman. “We looked hungry and scored four goals. Important players were able to rest and the youngsters have deserved their minutes.”
After taking most factors from their first three video games, Koeman took the possibility to rotate in Kiev as Messi and Frenkie de Jong had been disregarded of the squad fully whereas Jordi Alba and Griezmann had been each on the bench.
Instead, Koeman named a youthful line-up that included a senior debut for Oscar Mingueza in central defence, with Francisco Trincao, Pedri and Carles Alena additionally given probabilities to impress.
Konrad de la Fuente and Matheus Fernandes had been additionally handed debuts late on.
There will definitely be more durable opponents than Dynamo to navigate however the 21-year-old Mingueza was composed and could also be trusted once more given Barcelona’s present scarcity in defence. Gerard Pique, Samuel Umtiti and Ronald Araujo are all out injured.
“He’s shown that we can count on him,” stated Koeman.
Braithwaite actually did his case no hurt by taking his whole variety of targets for Barca from one to 3 in 13 minutes, the second a penalty, and a deserved return for a tireless efficiency up entrance.
Victory additionally continues Barca’s glorious type in Europe, which is available in stark distinction to their struggles in La Liga, the place they sit 12th within the desk following Saturday’s 1-Zero defeat by Atletico Madrid.
Dynamo had been additionally depleted, with out their prime scorer Viktor Tsyhankov, who was unwell, they usually by no means actually threatened their opponents like they did within the return fixture final month.
They will now battle Ferencvaros for third place and qualification for the Europa League.
Barcelona dominated the ball within the first half however had been unable to breach a decided Dynamo defence, even when there was little menace from the house aspect, even on the break.
The opening purpose got here from an unlikely supply as Dest fired a move into Alena and whereas the ball was returned to Braithwaite on the sting of the field, Dest took over, carrying it into his stride and taking pictures into the far nook for his first purpose for the membership.
Braithwaite’s time would come 5 minutes later as he completed off Alena’s nook on the again publish after which he made it three from the penalty spot, after being pushed within the again by Denys Popov as he tried to go in Alba’s cross.
Popov had already blazed large what was maybe Dynamo’s greatest probability on the again publish whereas Koeman had made adjustments bringing on Griezmann, Alba and Riqui Puig.
Puig ought to have added a fourth however skied Dest’s cutback over earlier than Griezmann did, capping a vigorous cameo by driving in and rounding off a cushty victory.
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