Kamis, 20 Oktober 2011

Champions League Group H wrap: Barca, Milan stamp class

Barcelona kept top spot in Group H of the Champions League with a 2-0 win over Viktoria Plzen, while AC Milan also won on Wednesday.
The impressive Andres Iniesta gave the Catalans an early lead with a lovely goal and David Villa rounded off the scoring with a late second after the hosts had missed a series of chances at Nou Camp.

Pep Guardiola needed to wait just 10 minutes to see his side go ahead as Iniesta combined with Lionel Messi on the edge of the box, controlled with his right foot and slid a low shot into the corner.

The midfielder had returned from a hamstring injury on Saturday against Racing Santander and Barca looked a different team with him on the pitch.

Iniesta then set up Villa moments later, but the Spain striker shot wide.

Villa came close again later in the half with a trademark angled drive from distance which was just off target, while Messi came within a whisker of a second goal, but his effort was saved by Viktoria keeper Marek Cech.

Pedro then fired over from a rebound with an open goal to aim at and Messi hit the side netting before sending a free-kick against the woodwork on the stroke of half-time.

The Argentine forward was brilliant as the second half got underway, hitting the post again and almost scoring a wonder-goal as the visitors held on for dear life.

The 24-year-old was also brought down in the area with eight minutes left and the La Liga giants could have had a penalty, but it mattered little as Villa was on hand to sweep home the rebound.

AC Milan beat BATE Borisov 2-0 in the other match, meaning Barca remain top of Group H on goal difference.

The Serie A giants were convincing in their victory at the San Siro.

The home side missed a host of chances but still emerged the victors courtesy of goals from Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Kevin-Prince Boateng.

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