Champions League round-up: Lionel Messi comes to the rescue as Barça struggle at home
James Mariner is a journalist who has been boring The Independent sports desk with mindless statistics for over four years. Helping with various, wide-ranging desk duties and the endless researching of panels, James has an unnatural love of all things football, and in particular the Premier League. He cites Brian Sears among his heroes and can even find something interesting in Stoke v Blackburn Rovers. On a good day.
Thursday 20 September 2012
Four-time winners Barcelona were made to work hard for the points last night as they began their quest for a fifth European Cup, coming from behing to beat Spartak Moscow 3-2 at the Nou Camp.
Cristian Tello had curled the Spanish side in front on 14 minutes, only for Dani Alves to put through his own net. Former Celtic midfielder Aiden McGready set up Romulo to give the Russian side a shock lead with half an hour remaining. As ever, it was Lionel Messi who came to the rescue for the Catalans, slotting home Tello's pull-back before heading the winner with 10 minutes remaining.
Bayern Munich, finalists last season, also got off to a winning start, beating Valencia 2-1 at the Allianz ArenA. Bastian Schweinsteiger opened the scoring with a deflected shot before half-time and Toni Kroos doubled the advantage. Nelson Haedo Valdez grabbed an injury-time reply.
BATE Borisov are the early Group F pacesetters, easing to a 3-1 win at Lille. Aliaksandr Volodko put the visitors ahead and Vitali Rodionov extended the lead on the counter-attack. Edgar Olekhnovich added a third before Aurélien Chedjou pulled a goal back.
CFR Cluj top Manchester United's Group H, after an impressive 2-0 victory in Braga, Rafael Bastos scoring twice. In Chelsea's Group E, Shakhtar Donetsk beat Danish newcomers Nordsjaelland 2-0, Henrikh Mkhitaryan getting both.
Latest in Sport
- 1 'Women should not laugh in public,' says Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister in morality speech
- 2 The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
- 3 Is Ebola coming to Britain? UK health officials issue warning to doctors as outbreak fears grow
- 4 Richard Dawkins says 'date rape is bad, stranger rape is worse' on Twitter
- 5 Danish TV reporter is all business up top, all party down below
The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
Putin is 'thuggish, dishonest and reckless', says British ambassador to US
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – Britain as others see us
A new Russian revolution: The cracks are starting to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc