Barcelona 1 Schalke 04 0 (Barca win 2-0 on agg): Touré rises above chaos to fire Barca through

Barcelona battled their way past Schalke 04 last night to set-up a semi-final with Manchester United on 23 April but at the cost of their captain Carles Puyol, who will miss the first leg after being booked, and amidst more off-the-field crisis.

Before last night's game Barcelona were in chaos after a high-ranking club official appeared to admit on Radio Catalunya that Deco and Ronaldinho were being left out of the team because of their off-the-field conduct and not because of injuries as was being officially claimed.

Xavier Sala Martin, who is head of the club's Economic Commission, did not name names but spoke of players who are "out partying late at night" and added: "It is unjust that for one, two or three, who are on holiday all day and of 60 training sessions only go to 21, that we are now saying that all the players are lazy."

Defending his president, Joan Laporta, he added: "It is also unfair to say that Mr Laporta is doing nothing about it. Look at the fact that these individuals who don't appear to be working have not played for a long time.

"For many weeks now they have been exiled and we disguise it as injuries and the like but these players are ostracized and there is an effort to keep them away from the rest of the team."

Deco has not played for a month after injuring himself in the warm-up of Barcelona's meeting with Villarreal. Ronaldinho has missed the last six games with muscular problems and has only started 13 games this season.

He was at the centre of controversy three weeks ago when he missed an away game at Almeria only for the club's medical department to then say that he was not injured.

Last night both were again missing from the squad as Barcelona had to weather the early storm from Schalke. Halil Altintop and Jermaine Jones went close for the rampant visitors while Barcelona looked nervous coming off a run of just one win in their last six league games.

Then three minutes before the break Yaya Touré eased those nerves by putting Barcelona in front. He started the move, spreading the ball wide to Bojan Krkic. He crossed and when Schalke could only clear the ball on to the bar it came back out to Touré who scored from the rebound.

After a quiet first half Thierry Henry had a chance to extend Barcelona's lead in the second period but blasted over after receiving a pass from Bojan and when the 17-year-old was taken off moments later it provoked an angry response from fans unhappy at seeing their best player replaced.

Barcelona never looked like losing their grip on the tie but will be rueing captain and central defensive lynchpin Puyol picking up a booking for a foul on Asamoah.

Barcelona (4-3-3): Valdes; Zambrotta, Puyol, Thuram, Abidal; Iniesta, Touré (Marquez, 81), Xavi; Eto'o, Bojan (Giovanni, 72), Henry. Substitutes not used: Pinto, Milito, Gudjohnsen, Edmilson, Sylvinho.

Schalke 04 (4-4-2): Neuer; Rafinha (Larsen, 76), Bordon, Krstajic, Westermann; Asamoah (Sanchez, 69), Jones, Ernst, Kobiashvili (Grossmuller, 31); Altintop, Kuranyi. Substitutes not used: Schober, Streit, Howedes, Pander.

Referee: R Rosetti (Italy).

Arts and Entertainment
The eyes have it: Kate Bush
music
Arts and Entertainment
booksNovelist takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Arts and Entertainment
Al Pacino in ‘The Humbling’, as an ageing actor
filmHam among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
News
Fifi Trixibelle Geldof with her mother, Paula Yates, in 1985
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Mario Balotelli in action during his Liverpool debut
football ...but he can't get on the scoresheet in impressive debut
Environment
Pigeons have been found with traces of cocaine and painkillers in their system
environmentCan species be 'de-extincted'?
Arts and Entertainment
booksExclusive extract from Howard Jacobson’s acclaimed new novel
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
A Pilgrim’s Progress is described by its publisher as “the one-and-only definitive record” of David Hockney's life and works
people
Sport
Loic Remy signs for Chelsea
footballBlues wrap up deal on the eve of the transfer window
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Art
Arts and Entertainment
Elizabeth McGovern as Cora, Countess of Grantham and Richard E Grant as Simon Bricker
TV
Life and Style
Instagram daredevils get thousands of followers
techMeet the daredevil photographers redefining urban exploration with death-defying stunts
Arts and Entertainment
Diana Beard, nicknamed by the press as 'Dirty Diana'
TVDaughter says contestant was manipulated 'to boost ratings'
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor