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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Barca Survive Spartak Scare as Juventus Rally Back to Draw with Chelsea

Chelsea midfielder Oscar scores against Juventus

Lionel Messi came to the rescue of his Barcelona team for the umpteenth time Wednesday night when he scored a brace inside 8 minutes to help the Blaugarana avoid an embarrassing defeat against Spartak Moscow at Camp Nou.

The mercurial Argentine netted in the 72nd minute to draw Barca level before tapping in the winner in the 80th minute to squeeze three points out of the match

The Catalans looked well on course for a win inside the quarter-hour mark when Tello carved in an effort from outside the area to give them the lead. Barca controlled the match but were hit at the half-hour when Dani Alves led the ball into his own net to draw level for the Russians.

Barca threw everything for the remainder of the half with both Cesc Fabregas and Dani Alves coming close but the half ended in a 1-1 stalemate.

Spartak took the lead in the 59th minute after a well-worked counter attack that started with Ari charging down the left channel before releasing the ball to Aiden McGeady who slid it to Romulo who beat his marker Adriano before slotting past Victor Valdes.

Tito Vilanova’s men huffed and puffed as they looked for the equalizer. The success would come in the 72nd minute with Lionel Messi tapping in from close range after brilliant work from Tello on the left.

The winner came 10 minutes before the final whistle via Messi who headed home from an Alexis Sanchez cross to give the home crowd a win to cheer for but they know they might not be so lucky next time. In the other match in the Group, Celtic drew 0-0 with Benfica.

In Group E, Juventus rallied from 2 goals down to draw 2-2 with defending champions Chelsea. Brazilian star Oscar scored two superb in two minutes to give the Blues a 2-0 lead but Arturo Vidal’s 38th minute strike opened the game heading into the interval.

Chelsea’s relaxed attitude in the second half proved costly especially in the 80th minute when John Obi Mikel gave the ball away with substitute Fabio Quagliarella beating off an offside trap to slot between Cech’s legs for the equalizer.

Shakhtar Donetsk beat Danish Champions League debutants FC Nordsjælland 2-0 to claim the top spot in the group. Henrik Mkhitaryan scored both goals either side of half time to give the Ukrainian champions the win.

Bastian Schweinsteiger and Toni Kroos were both on target for last season’s losing finalists Bayern Munich in their 2-1 win over Valencia. Haedo Valdez scored the consolation for the Spaniards in injury time.  BATE Borisov shocked everyone but themselves when they trounced French Ligue 1 champions Lille 3-1 at the Grand Stade Lille M√©tropole. Aleksandr Volodko, Vitali Rodionov and Edgar Olekhnovich gave BATE an unlikely 3-0 half-time lead and they hanged on in the second half for the win. Chedjou scored the consolation for Lille.

Finally in Group H, Michael Carrick scored the only goal for Manchester United as they beat Galatasary 1-0 at Old Trafford. CFR Cluj won 2-0 away to Sporting Braga to move to the top of the group. Rafael Bastos scored both goals.

And That's thesteifmastertake!!