Friday, September 21, 2012

Barca Outlasts Spartak 3-2

From The Washington Times:

BARCELONA: Lionel Messi came to the rescue with a late double to earn Barcelona a 3-2 victory over Group G opponents Spartak Moscow in Champions League competition, which coach Tito Vilanova termed ‘very important’ for his side’s campaign.

The hosts went ahead early on through Cristian Tello, but an own-goal from Dani Alves after 29 minutes brought Spartak back into the contest.

Barca were enjoying the vast majority of the play but Romulo’s second-half goal put a damper on them. Messi, though, put their European ambitions back on track with two poacher’s goals inside the last 20 minutes.

“To start off with a win is very important,” said Vilanova. “This was never going to be an easy game as we were playing against a Spartak side with good players including a lot of foreigners.”

Spartak’s Spanish coach Unai Emery had never beaten Barcelona during his time in charge of Almeria or Valencia and it was always likely to be a severe test.

“We are not happy obviously with the way the game turned out,” said Emery. “But if there’s something good to take from it then we made it difficult for Barcelona and we know that we have a bright future.”