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Chelsea held, Messi rescues Barcelona

Published: Wednesday 19 September 2012, 23.15CET
Juventus came from two down to deny Chelsea FC three points at the start of their European title defence while Lionel Messi scored twice to help FC Barcelona open with a win.

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Published: Wednesday 19 September 2012, 23.15CET

Chelsea held, Messi rescues Barcelona

Juventus came from two down to deny Chelsea FC three points at the start of their European title defence while Lionel Messi scored twice to help FC Barcelona open with a win.

A Fabio Quagliarella goal denied holders Chelsea FC an opening win while Lionel Messi inspired FC Barcelona to come from behind and beat FC Spartak Moskva as the remaining set of matchday one fixtures were played on Wednesday night.

Chelsea looked on course to start the defence of their UEFA Champions League title with victory when Oscar scored twice in quick succession to earn them a 2-0 first-half cushion against Italian title holders Juventus. Arturo Vidal replied, though, and Quagliarella beat the offside trap with ten minutes remaining to rescue a point. In Group E's other game, FC Shakhtar Donetsk saw off newcomers FC Nordsjælland with in-form Henrik Mkhitaryan on target twice.

Barcelona were 2-1 down halfway through the second half at home to Spartak, but Messi turned the game on its head with two goals to give Tito Vilanova victory on his European debut as coach. That assures the four-time winners of the early advantage in Group G after fellow former European champions Celtic FC and SL Benfica produced the only goalless draw of the evening.

Although Spartak just fell short, there were two superb away performances from eastern European sides as FC BATE Borisov and CFR 1907 Cluj chalked up impressive victories. BATE triumphed 3-1 at LOSC Lille having strode into a three-goal half-time lead, while CFR delivered a clinical counterattacking display to overcome SC Braga. Rafael Bastos hit both goals and heads the early top scorers' list alongside Messi, Mkhitaryan, Oscar and Málaga CF forward Isco.

Elsewhere, 2011/12 runners-up FC Bayern München began their campaign on home soil in happier fashion than they had ended the last one at the same venue, beating Valencia CF 2-1. Nani missed a penalty but Manchester United FC still held off Galatasaray AŞ to win 1-0 through Michael Carrick's early strike.

Group E
Chelsea FC 2-2 Juventus
FC Shakhtar Donetsk 2-0 FC Nordsjælland

Group F
LOSC Lille 1-3 FC BATE Borisov
FC Bayern München 2-1 Valencia CF

Group G
FC Barcelona 3-2 FC Spartak Moskva
Celtic FC 0-0 SL Benfica

Group H
Manchester United FC 1-0 Galatasaray AŞ
SC Braga 0-2 CFR 1907 Cluj

Full competition calendar

Last updated: 04/12/13 19.17CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/news/newsid=1863004.html#chelsea+held+messi+rescues+barcelona

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