Barcelona made a decaffeinated debut in the Champions League on Tuesday. Or worse than decaffeinated, so as not to deceive you.
Away games remain a challenge for Ernesto Valverde's team this season. Three games, no wins. One loss and two draws. The draw at Borussia Dortmund didn't even see them have a single shot on target. Enough said. And with any other goalkeeper not called Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Dortmund would have won easily.
They could even have hammered Barça because Ter Stegen saved a penalty and made two or three more brilliant saves. The Germans also hit the bar. Given how the game went, then, Barça should be happy with the point. The second half, in particular, was a disaster. Something to reflect on.
It's clear that Ter Stegen saved a point and took two from Dortmund -- which in such a short league is very important. That's what goalkeepers are for, some will say. Yes, of course, but especially if the goalkeeper is the Lionel Messi of goalkeepers. But when that happens, it's always a bad sign.
What's happening to Barça if even with an attacking side they don't show up? In this sense, there's not much to blame Ernesto Valverde before. No Rakitics or Vidals to cover, but a 4-3-3 with Ansu Fati accompanying Griezmann and Suarez and a midfield of Busquets, Arthur and De Jong -- Barça style.
But Griezmann lost his spark and didn't trouble Dortmund. De Jong, as an interior, has still not adapted. Things need to come together still and Messi needs to get back to 100 percent. Meanwhile, we'll have to rely on goalkeeping's Lionel Messi.