Mascherano praised for Barcelona performance

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The Independent Football

Javier Mascherano enjoyed a first victory as part of Barcelona's starting line-up last night and earned the praise of his coach Pep Guardiola.

The Argentina skipper made his competitive debut for the Catalan giants following his summer move from Liverpool in their shock 2-0 defeat to Hercules at the Nou Camp last month and was subsequently involved in draws against Rubin Kazan in the Champions League and Mallorca in the Primera Division.

He came on as a substitute in last weekend's 2-1 win over Valencia but played the full 90 minutes on Wednesday night as a brace from compatriot Lionel Messi saw off FC Copenhagen to keep the 2009 European champions in control of the pool.

Guardiola said: "I'm very satisfied with him. He played well and he is happy. He is a competitive player with a lot of quality," he said after the match.

"He deserves his opportunity and he is going to be an important player for us."

The victory sees Barca move to the top of Group D after three games, with seven points from a possible nine - one more than second-placed Copenhagen.

The other game in the group finished goalless between Panathinaikos and Rubin Kazan in Athens, giving the Greek side their first point of the campaign with Rubin claiming their second.

Tottenham remain second in Group A despite their 4-3 defeat to Inter Milan thanks to a 1-1 draw between FC Twente and Werder Bremen.

Theo Janssen opened the scoring for the Dutch hosts after 75 minutes but substitute Marko Arnautovic popped up with the equaliser for Bremen just five minutes later.

Lyon made it three wins from three Champions League Group B matches with a comfortable 2-0 victory at home to 10-man Benfica.

Goals in either half from Jimmy Briand and Lisandro Lopez were enough to see off the Portuguese, for whom Nicolas Gaitan was dismissed before half-time.

Raul grabbed a brace to set Schalke en route to a 3-1 victory as they dominated Hapoel Tel Aviv.

A further strike from Jose Manuel Jurado ensured Schalke go second in Group B, although there was still time for Itay Shechter to grab a late consolation for the visitors.

Manchester United were able to overcome the off-field distractions being provided by Wayne Rooney to beat Bursaspor at Old Trafford and stay in control of Group C. Rangers remain second following a 1-1 draw with Valencia at Ibrox.