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Barcelona flex muscles without overwhelming Plzeň

Published: Wednesday 19 October 2011, 22.56CET
FC Barcelona 2-0 FC Viktoria Plzeň
The Catalan giants dominated, mustering 17 shots to Plzeň's none, but had only Andrés Iniesta's early goal to show for it until David Villa's late strike.
by Graham Hunter
from Camp Nou

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Match statistics

BarcelonaPlzeň

Goals scored2
 
0
Attempts on target4
 
0
Attempts off target13
 
0
Corners7
 
0
Offsides3
 
1
Fouls committed4
 
12
Yellow cards0
 
0
Red cards0
 
0
Possession (%)71
 
29

Standings

Group H

PPts
1AC Milan Milan37
2FC Barcelona Barcelona37
3FC BATE Borisov BATE31
4FC Viktoria Plzeň Plzeň31
Last updated: 21/05/2012 17:37 CET

Legend:

P: Played   
Pts: Points   
 
Published: Wednesday 19 October 2011, 22.56CET

Barcelona flex muscles without overwhelming Plzeň

FC Barcelona 2-0 FC Viktoria Plzeň
The Catalan giants dominated, mustering 17 shots to Plzeň's none, but had only Andrés Iniesta's early goal to show for it until David Villa's late strike.

FC Barcelona dominated throughout at the Camp Nou but left it late before securing a 2-0 victory over FC Viktoria Plzeň which keeps them locked in a battle for the Group H leadership with AC Milan.

Andrés Iniesta's tenth-minute opener and a late effort from David Villa, set up by the ever-dangerous Lionel Messi, ultimately dealt with the Czech title holders. Yet Pavel Vrba can be proud of his team's dogged and intelligent resistance, keeping their heads above water even when the waves of attacks looked likely to overwhelm them.

Barcelona started with purpose, zip and some electric passing movements, traits wonderfully put together to fashion their breakthrough. Iniesta exchanged a couple of one-twos with Messi but there was still lots to do when he received the ball again just inside the area. His right foot flicked the ball between two defenders; his left clipped it past goalkeeper Marek Čech.

It was just what Josep Guardiola had requested before the game, stressing the need to avoid complacency, to retain focus and hunger. And so it continued, yet for all their drive and endeavour, reward was not forthcoming. Villa fired over after Iniesta's tremendous trickery on the byline sent František Rajtoral this way and that, and the darting Messi was denied only by Čech's knees before the half-hour mark.

Credit, though, to Plzeň. Whenever they did win possession – and it was not often – the visitors would push three, sometimes four, attackers high up the pitch. While the visiting Czech fans chanted defiance their team embodied it.

Frustrations grew for Barcelona when Messi fired an outstanding free-kick off the frame of the goal with the last action of the half, and the hosts began the second period with the urgency of champions wishing to deal with a niggling situation. Messi led the charge, and 15 minutes after the break he skipped past three defenders and dinked an effort off the outside of the post.

Home nerves tautened when Milan Petržela's cross caused confusion between Daniel Alves and Víctor Valdés, though the keeper reacted with alacrity. Messi's one-man quest for the second goal continued when he slipped through the defence, flicked the ball over Čech only for David Limberský to calmly intervene.

Finally the pressure told eight minutes from time, Villa slotting in after another Messi break had been smothered. Barcelona could breathe easily again, allowing Guardiola to give Isaac Cuenca his competitive debut in the final seconds.

Last updated: 22/10/13 9.22CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2012/matches/round=2000263/match=2007616/postmatch/report/index.html#barcelona+overpower+plzen

Quotes

  • Josep Guardiola

    Read more"I congratulate my players for taking the game with the seriousness it deserved"

  • Pavel Vrba

    Read more"We played against the best side in the world and a defeat here is not a disgrace"

Lineups

barcelona

Barcelona

plzeň

Plzeň

1
Víctor ValdésVíctor Valdés (GK)
24
M. ČechMarek Čech (GK)
2
Daniel AlvesDaniel Alves
6
PilařVáclav Pilař
Substitution75
6
Xavi HernándezXavi Hernández (C)
8
LimberskýDavid Limberský
7
VillaDavid Villa
Goal82
Substitution88
10
HorváthPavel Horváth (C)
8
IniestaAndrés Iniesta
Goal10
Substitution85
11
PetrželaMilan Petržela
Substitution86
10
MessiLionel Messi
18
BystroňDavid Bystroň
14
MascheranoJavier Mascherano
20
JiráčekPetr Jiráček
16
BusquetsSergio Busquets
23
BakošMarek Bakoš
Substitution58
17
Pedro RodríguezPedro Rodríguez
26
KolářDaniel Kolář
21
AdrianoAdriano
27
RajtoralFrantišek Rajtoral
22
AbidalÉric Abidal
28
ČišovskýMarián Čišovský

Substitutes

13
PintoJosé Manuel Pinto (GK)
33
PavlíkRoman Pavlík (GK)
5
PuyolCarles Puyol
5
ĎurišMichal Ďuriš
Substitution58
11
Thiago AlcántaraThiago Alcántara
7
TrappPetr Trapp
15
KeitaSeydou Keita
Substitution85
9
FilloMartin Fillo
Substitution75
19
MaxwellMaxwell
14
ŘezníkRadim Řezník
24
FontàsAndreu Fontàs
15
ŠevinskýFrantišek Ševinský
39
Isaac CuencaIsaac Cuenca
Substitution88
16
DaridaVladimír Darida
Substitution86

Coach

Josep Guardiola (ESP) Pavel Vrba (CZE)

Referee

Aleksandar Stavrev (MKD)

Assistant referees

Marjan Kirovski (MKD), Ljubomir Krstevski (MKD)

Fourth official

Dejan Jakimovksi (MKD)

Additional assistant referees

Dimitar Meckarovski (MKD), Goran Spirkoski (MKD)

Legend:

  • GoalsGoals
  • Own goalOwn goal
  • PenaltiesPenalties
  • Missed PenaltiesMissed Penalties
  • reds_cardRed Cards
  • yellow_cardsYellow cards
  • yellow_red_cardsYellow/red card
  • SubstitutionSubstitution
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