9 December 2008

BARCELONA 2 (Sylvinho 59, Busquets 83)
SHAKHTAR DONETSK 3 (Gladkiy 31, Gladkiy 58, Fernandinho 76)

Caceres was caught ball watching on a crossfield pass. Rat, who should be playing at a top Western European club, volleyed a pass into Willian and Gladkiy guided his centre past Jorquera. Jorquera went AWOL on a free kick and Gladkiy got above Keita to head in his second. Barca hit back immediately. Sylvinho pulled away from his customary position on the right flank and back away from goal before passed into Keita, Keita touched the ball back and the Brazilian struck a left foot shot of such velocity both his feet left the air as the ball thundered into the back of Pyatov's net. The unmarked Fernandinho slide home Rat's centre at the back post. Busquets combined with Gudjohnsen, surely the poorest player to play in such a good (they're not great yet) side, to score a late consolation goal.

Attendance : 19,000
Assists : Willian, Jadson fk, Keita, Rat, Gudjohnsen

SPORTING 1 (Djalo 19)

Attendance : 35,000
Assist : Izmailov

26 November 2008

SHAKHTAR DONETSK 5 (Jadson 32, Willian 50, Jadson 65, Jadson 72, Seleznov 75)

Jadson sent Chaka Khan into a half time lead with a first time shot from the edge of the box. Willian who is of course Brazilian began the second half rout with a superb individual goal, he cut in the from the left and beat three players before scoring in off a post. Jadson tapped in his second from Srna centre and completed his hat-trick by finishing off a rapid counter attack. A frustrated Gai smashed a ball out of defence but Chaka Khan intercepted and two passes later it was 5-0.

Attendance : 20,000
Assists : Gay, Rat, Srna, Willian, Jadson

SPORTING 2 (Miguel Veloso 65, Liedson 66)
BARCELONA 5 (Henry 14, Pique 17, Messi 49, Marco Caneira 67 og, Bojan 73 Pen)

Henry started a one-two with Messi 25 yards from goal, he continued his run into the box as the injury prone midget teased a defender before wriggling away and centring for the Frenchman to score his first Champions League goal this season. Barca's second was somewhat of a rarity, a goal from a corner. Gudjohnsen mistimed his leap when attacking a cross and Pique poked past Rui Patricio. Messi made it 3-0 from a quickly taken free kick and was substituted three minutes before the hour. Sporting threatened to make a game of it with a quick-fire double. Miguel Veloso blasted in a free kick and Liedson seized on a hospital pass before rifled the ball between Valdez's legs. Caneira ended Sporting's hopes of a comeback with a stupid own goal. Patricio was sent off for obstructing Bojan and the teenager picked himself up score a moral boosting goal.

Attendance : 62,000
Red Card : Rui Patricio 71 (Sporting)
Assists : Messi, Gudjohnsen, Dani Alves (fk), n/a, n/a, n/a, Bojan (won pen)

4 November 2008

SPORTING 1 (Derlei 73)

Attendance : 24,282
Assist : Izmailov

BARCELONA 1 (Messi 62)
BASEL 1 (Derdiyok 83)

Guardiola rested his big hitters and gave a chance to the reserves i.e. Henry, Sylvinho, Sanchez etc, etc. When that didn't work Messi and Xavi came off the bench with immediate effect. Messi turned onto a Xavi pass, played a one-two with Henry, ran through a sliding tackle (I was sure he would go down) then shot wide of Costanzo. Despite having somewhere in the region of 30% possession Basel came away with a point. Carlitos swung in a cross from the right and Derdiyok, finding himself in space between Barca's centrebacks, volleyed a first time shot into the roof the net.

Attendance : 47,000
Assists : Henry, Carlitos

22 October 2008

SPORTING 1 (Liedson 76)

Attendance : 23,000
Assist : Derlei

BARCELONA 5 (Messi 4, Busquets 15, Bojan 22, Bojan 46, Xavi 48)

Standing near the edge of the D Dani Alves looked to his extreme left and with the outside of his right foot chipped a fantastic ball over the Basel defence, Messi ran in on the blindside and passed a volley into the net. Xavi found Busquets free on the right of the box with a sumptuous crossfield pass and the youngster (20) took his chance well to score his first Champions League goal. Bojan made it 3-0 with a low drive from the edge of the box. Busquets, who seems to have a touch of the Guardiola about him, sent Bojan clear on the break for Barca's fourth and Xavi finished the rout with a grasscutter. Henry got a run out as a second half sub. How the mighty have fallen. Next stop MLS.

Apparently Busquets' Barca contract expires at the end of the season. If the name is familiar he's the son of former Barca reserve goalkeeper Carles Busquets.

Attendance : 37,500
Assists : Alves, Xavi, Messi, Busquets Messi

1 October 2008

SPORTING 2 (Romagnoli 55, Derlei 86)

Sporting's performance was a mirror of their national team. Lots of good approach play with a cutting edge. Romagnoli tried to dribble his way through heavy traffic in the Basel penalty area, Abraham whacked the ball against the Argentinean and it cannoned off his left thigh before looping into the bottom left corner. Romagnoli, who won his one and only Argentina cap in 2003, sent Derlei clear on the break and he scored despite losing his balance as he shot.

Attendance : 22,368
Assists : n/a, Romagnoli

SHAKHTAR 1 (Ilsinho 45)
BARCELONA 2 (Messi 87, Messi 94)

Shakhtar took a late first half lead following some trademark crap Barca defending. Pique inadvertently flicked on a goalkick, Ilsinho raced onto the ball and evaded Puyol's suicidal tackle in the box before gently lifting the ball over the prone Valdez. Messi replaced the ineffective Henry, and that won't be the first time those words are uttered this season. Barca's second half pressure paid off though they owe a large debt to Shakhtar's goalkeeper who failed to make a routine catch leaving Messi with a tap-in. Barca should have been awarded a 90th minute penalty when Srna cleared Iniesta. Deep into injury time a suspiciously offside looking Messi lobbed Xavi's pass over Pyatov to snatch victory from the jaws of a draw.

Attendance : 26,000
Assists : n/a, n/a, Xavi

16 September 2008

BASEL 1 (Abraham 93)
SHAKHTAR 2 (Fernandinho 25, Jadson 46)

Fernandinho hammered the visitors into the lead with a ridiculous right footed free kick from all of 40 yards. Jadson scored a crushing second in first half injury time, heading in Huebschmann's free kick. Shakhtar should have been 0-4 up by the time Basel scored a consolation goal they scarcely deserved.

Attendance : 34,820
Assists : Adriano (wk fk), Huebschmann, Carlitos

BARCELONA (Marquez 21, Eto'o 60 Pen, Xavi 87)
SPORTING 1 (Tonel 72)

Marquez headed in a corner and cheat Eto'o doubled Barca's lead from an absolute gift of a penalty. Tonel took advantage of trademark rubbish Barca marking to get the Portuguese back in the match from a Veloso free kick but the hosts moved up a gear and threatened on several occasions before Xavi combined with Iniesta to poke home a third. Guardiola's first win of the season.

Attendance : 58,354
Assists : Xavi (ck), Eto'o, Veloso (fk), Iniesta