Antoine Griezmann insisted it will take time for him to gel with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez after Barcelona escaped with a point against Borussia Dortmund in their Champions League opener.
Barcelona held on for a 0-0 draw away to Bundesliga side Dortmund in Tuesday’s Group F clash after goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen saved a second-half penalty from Marco Reus.
Star man Messi made his first appearance of the season after recovering from a calf injury – coming on as a second-half substitute – but it was a frustrating night for the LaLiga champions, whose side included Suarez and close-season arrival Griezmann.
“It’s my second month since I arrived, I have to get used to it and play more with them to understand the movements of Suarez and Leo,” Griezmann – a €120million signing from Atletico Madrid – acknowledged in Movistar +.
“We have not knocked on the door enough and we must improve and work at it. It is a point but Marc stopped a penalty and made other saves.”
Barca head coach Valverde admitted they had Ter Stegen to thank after he made a string of fine saves – including one to deny Germany colleague Reus in the 57th minute.
“It was a difficult game in a great atmosphere,” Valverde said. “We had to suffer a lot, especially after the break when we lost control and they were very dangerous.
“In the first half we dominated a bit more. We were lacking in the final third. We have to thank Marc-Andre ter Stegen for his outstanding saves.
“We know we have to improve away from home. We tried giving Messi a few minutes and Luis Suarez played from the start.”
What. A. Save!
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) September 17, 2019
Ter Stegen added: “People know what I’m capable of. I just want to concentrate wholly on my work and perform at 100 per cent of my capabilities. Today I think I demonstrated that.”
Dortmund captain Reus acknowledged his frustration at missing such a golden opportunity to defeat the Spanish giants.
He said: “Marc is a world-class keeper. My penalty was not really well-taken. Back to the training ground for that.
“Of course it does not feel good. I failed to convert a penalty and we had several other chances. One goal probably would have been enough for a win. We hardly allowed Barcelona space and showed a strong performance.”
Dortmund defender Mats Hummels said the result felt like a missed opportunity, however, the German insisted there were plenty of positives to take from the performance.
“In the end we lost two points and failed to be in a better position. Nevertheless, we can be especially proud of the second half,” the 30-year-old said.
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