Borussia Dortmund and Barcelona both had their campaigns ended by English teams in 2018/19 and now meet for the first time in 20 years.
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Borussia Dortmund and Barcelona, who both had their interest in the 2018/19 UEFA Champions League ended by English teams that went on to reach the final, meet for the first time in more than 20 years on the opening night of Group F.
• Both teams have become competition regulars in recent years; while this is Dortmund's eighth group campaign in nine seasons, Barça are making their 16th successive appearance, and will be keen to banish the memory of their last European away game, a 4-0 defeat at Liverpool in last season's semi-final second leg. The Reds went on to win the final against a Tottenham team who had ousted Dortmund in the last 16.
• The sides have met in only two previous UEFA matches, in the 1997 UEFA Super Cup – although the games took place in early 1998 – which UEFA Cup Winners' Cup holders Barcelona won 3-1 on aggregate. First-leg goals from Luis Enrique and Rivaldo, the latter a penalty, earned the Spanish side a 2-0 victory at the Camp Nou, Giovanni extending that advantage six minutes into the return at the Westfalenstadion; a 64th-minute Jörg Heinrich goal was all Dortmund, then reigning UEFA Champions League winners, could muster in return.
• Second in the Bundesliga in 2018/19, this is Dortmund's 14th UEFA Champions League campaign; they were winners in 1997, and runners-up in 2013. BVB have reached the round of 16 in five of their last six participations.
• In last season's group stage, Lucien Favre's side kept three clean sheets at home in beating Monaco 3-0 and Atlético Madrid 4-0 before drawing 0-0 with Club Brugge. Dortmund conceded the fewest goals in the group stage (two) and kept the most clean sheets (five), but got no further than the last 16, losing both legs against Tottenham (0-3 a, 0-1 h).
• Dortmund lost 2-0 at Atlético on matchday four last season – Antoine Griezmann scoring the second goal – in their most recent game against a Spanish club. They have won only one of the last six such matches (D2 L3).
• The German club have lost only three of their 15 home matches against Spanish visitors (W8 D4), and have won five of the last seven (D1 L1).
• Despite two victories in their own stadium in the 2018/19 UEFA Champions League, Dortmund have now won only three of their last ten European home matches (D2 L5).
• Spanish champions for the 26th time in 2018/19, their fourth title in five years, this is Barcelona's 24th UEFA Champions League group campaign, a competition record they share with Real Madrid. They last failed to qualify from their group in 2000/01 and have reached the round of 16 or better for the last 15 seasons.
• In 2018/19, Barcelona finished first ahead of Tottenham, Internazionale and PSV Eindhoven in Group B, picking up 14 points – seven of them away from home. They eased past Lyon in the last 16 (0-0 a, 5-1 h) and Manchester United in the quarter-finals (1-0 a, 3-0 h) before a 3-0 first-leg victory against Liverpool in the last four, only for the English club to turn the tables in stunning style at Anfield.
• Defeat on Merseyside ended Barcelona's 11-match unbeaten run in the UEFA Champions League (W8 D3).
• Barça have won only four of their last 13 away matches in European competition (D5 L4).
• Barcelona have won only two of their last seven matches against Bundesliga opposition in Germany, their last visit bringing a 2-1 success at Borussia Mönchengladbach in the 2016/17 UEFA Champions League group stage, Gerard Piqué scoring the winning goal. They also beat Juventus 3-1 in the 2015 UEFA Champions League final in Berlin.
• Barcelona have been European champions on five occasions, most recently in 2015.
Links and trivia
• Ousmane Dembélé made 32 Bundesliga appearances, scoring six times, for Dortmund in 2016/17 before joining Barcelona.
• Paco Alcácer scored ten goals in 37 Liga appearance for Barcelona between 2016 and 2018, winning the domestic double in 2017/18 in addition to the Copa del Rey the previous season.
• Have played in Germany:
Marc-André ter Stegen (Borussia Mönchengladbach 2011–14)
Arturo Vidal (Bayer Leverkusen 2007–11, Bayern München 2015–18)
Ivan Rakitić (Schalke 2007–11)
• International team-mates:
Marc-André ter Stegen & Mats Hummels, Julian Brandt, Mahmoud Dahoud, Marco Reus, Nico Schulz (Germany)
Paco Alcácer & Sergio Busquets, Sergi Roberto, Jordi Alba (Spain)
Raphaël Guerreiro & Nélson Semedo (Portugal)
• Summer transfers
In: Julian Brandt (Leverkusen), Nico Schulz (Hoffenheim), Thorgan Hazard (Mönchengladbach), Mateu Morey (Barcelona), Mats Hummels (Bayern)
Out: Alexander Isak (Real Sociedad), Jeremy Toljan (Sassuolo, loan), Abdou Diallo (Paris), Sebastian Rode (Eintracht Frankfurt), Maximilian Philipp (Dinamo Moskva), André Schürrle (Spartak Moskva, loan), Felix Passlack (Fortuna Sittard, loan), Shinji Kagawa (Real Zaragoza), Ömer Toprak (Werder Bremen, loan), Sergio Gómez (Huesca, loan), Marius Wolf (Hertha, loan)
• On 3 August BVB won 2-0 in the German Super Cup against Bayern München, lifting the trophy for the sixth time thanks to goals from Paco Alcácer and Jadon Sancho.
• Dortmund reached the second round of the German Cup with a 2-0 win at third division Uerdingen on 9 August. Their opponents in the next round, in late October, are Borussia Mönchengladbach.
• In the first Bundesliga game this season Lucien Favre's side prevailed 5-1 against Augsburg on 17 August, followed by a 3-1 win at Köln a week later before an unexpected 3-1 loss at newly-promoted Union Berlin on 31 August.
• Julian Brandt scored his first BVB goal against Augsburg.
• Dortmund conceded the first goal in their first three Bundesliga games this season.
• On Saturday Dortmund beat Leverkusen 4-0, making it nine goals in their two home games in 2019/20.
• Alcácer has scored in every competitive game this season for club and country, hitting ten goals in eight matches.
• Alcácer scored three goals for Spain in this month's European Qualifiers, one in a 2-1 win at Romania on 5 September and two in a 4-0 success against the Faroe Islands four days later.
• Thomas Delaney scored in Denmark's 6-0 away win at Gibraltar on 5 September while Sancho got his first international goals, scoring twice in England's 5-3 win against Kosovo on 10 September.
• On 10 September Leonardo Balerdi made his international debut as a late substitute in Argentina's 4-0 friendly win against Mexico in San Antonio.
• Nico Schulz suffered a foot injury in Germany's 4-2 loss against the Netherlands on 6 September and missed the subsequent trip to Northern Ireland and Dortmund's weekend win.
• Manuel Akanji suffered an ankle injury in Switzerland's 1-1 draw at the Republic of Ireland on 5 September and sat out the 4-0 win against Gibraltar three days later, but played 90 minutes against Leverkusen.
• Axel Witsel (adductors) and Thorgan Hazard (rib) had been out since 23 August before returning on Saturday; Witsel started and played 78 minutes, with Hazard a 61st-minute substitute.
• Mateu Morey has not played since suffering a shoulder injury on 30 July.
• Summer transfers
In: Frenkie de Jong (Ajax), Emerson (Atlético Mineiro), Neto (Valencia), Antoine Griezmann (Atlético Madrid), Marc Cucullera (Eibar), Júnior Firpo (Real Betis)
Out: Mateu Morey (Dortmund), Marc Cardona (Osasuna), André Gomes (Everton), Jasper Cillessen (Valencia), Denis Suárez (Celta Vigo), Marc Cucurella (Getafe, loan), Malcom (Zenit), Philippe Coutinho (Bayern, loan), Rafinha (Celta Vigo, loan)
• Lionel Messi was named Forward of the Season for the 2018/19 UEFA Champions League in Monaco on 29 August; Frenkie de Jong collected the Midfielder's award for his performances with Ajax last season.
• Barcelona were beaten 1-0 at Athletic Club on 16 August, the first time they had lost their opening Liga fixture in 11 years.
• Antoine Griezmann scored his first two goals for his new club in a 5-2 win against Betis on 25 August.
• Messi is yet to feature this season due to a calf problem.
• Barcelona were 5-2 winners against Valencia, their conquerors in last season's Copa del Rey final, at the Camp Nou on Saturday.
• Luis Suárez had been out since that loss at Athletic on 16 August due to a calf injury but returned to score twice as a substitute against Valencia.
• Griezmann missed a penalty in both of France's September UEFA EURO 2020 qualifiers at home to Albania (4-1) and Andorra (3-0). Clément Lenglet scored his first international goal for Les Bleus – on his third appearance – in the win against Andorra.
• A foot injury has kept Samuel Umtiti on the sidelines all season.
• Nélson Semedo recovered from an ankle injury to play 90 minutes against Valencia.
• Ousmane Dembélé (hamstring) has also not featured since 16 August while Neto is out with a hand injury.
• Ansu Fati became the second youngest player to appear for Barça in the Liga when he made his debut aged 16 years 298 days in the victory against Betis. The teenager then became the club's youngest Liga goalscorer, aged 16 years 304 days, in a 2-2 draw with Osasuna that made him the the third youngest Liga goalscorer of all time.
• Aged 16 years 318 days, Fati scored and provided an assist on Saturday, the youngest player to do both in a Liga game in the 21st century.