This article is part of Football FanCast’s In Numbers series, which takes a statistical look at performances, season-long form and reported transfer targets…
The highly-anticipated Champions League is finally here and Barcelona opened their 2019/20 European campaign with a rather difficult away trip to Borussia Dortmund.
The Catalan and the German giants shared the points in a 0-0 draw and will both be hoping for more luck in future fixtures; both sides have to take on Inter Milan and Slavia Prague in the group stages.
The Blaugrana were mostly on the back foot throughout the 90 minutes and the stats do suggest that Dortmund were just slightly more threatening going forward as the Germans registered 13 shots compared to the Catalans’ seven.
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But at the end of the day, regardless of the result, they have a point under their name after a difficult away game, which is not a bad thing.
Another good thing Ernesto Valverde can be extremely satisfied with was Arthur Melo’s brilliant performance.
The 23-year-old Brazilian midfielder played the full 90 minutes of the game and warranted his initial €31m (£27.4m) price tag on the night.
He recorded a game-highest 106 touches and deployed the joint-highest number of passes with a total of 84, with 91.7% passing accuracy.
But that wasn’t all he did. Arthur also tallied nine out of nine attempted long balls and was pretty active in the defensive phases of the game for Barcelona, as well.
Scrambling for a point is not really Barcelona’s preferred style of play but if there’s anything Valverde can take away from this clash and be proud of, then it is the Brazilian’s performance.
It remains to be seen if he can keep this form going.