Barcelona maintained their unbeaten Champions League report and gained their group on Tuesday evening after simply beating Sporting CP 2-Zero on the Camp Nou.
There was a uncommon begin for Thomas Vermaelen after Samuel Umtiti’s picked up a hamstring damage through the weekend’s disappointing 2-2 draw with Celta Vigo, which can hold him out for not less than two months.
Lionel Messi was rested, permitting Paco Alcacer his first European look of the season. Sporting’s star striker Bas Dost was surprisingly left on the bench, with attacking midfielder Alan Ruiz beginning alone up entrance, a lot to the annoyance of their followers as hopes of qualification had been slim however not inconceivable.
Barcelona appeared to begin in cruise management understanding full effectively that they’d already secured the highest spot in Group D. Luis Suarez had the one alternative of the first-half, as he delightfully flicked the ball round an onrushing Sporting defender however may solely toe poke the ball straight at Rui Patricio.
The one damaging of the sport got here when Nelson Semedo acquired a delicate yellow card which guidelines him out of the primary leg of the spherical of 16.
Barcelona lastly broke via within the 59th minute when in-form striker Alcacer headed in from a nook, a primary objective on his first Champions League look of the season. This did not immediate them to take their foot off the fuel – if something it did the alternative as only one minute later, Messi got here on instead of right-back Aleix Vidal.
Within the 62nd minute, Jasper Cillessen was referred to as upon for the primary time after Gelson Martins’ pleasant cross put the ball on a platter for Dost, however the Dutchman’s shot was straight at his compatriot and the 2 shared an embrace afterwards in recognition of the incredible reflex save.
Barcelona’s star man Lionel Messi nearly doubled their lead with eight minutes remaining however his curling left-footed shot was at a cushty peak for Patricio to palm away. Sporting immediately replied on the counter however their marksman Dost couldn’t hold his volley on track because the ball fell from the heavens.
The Catalan membership once more nearly added to their lead within the 89th minute as Messi performed via Alcacer fantastically however his shot was blocked, with the deflection bouncing simply vast of Patricio’s objective.
They lastly made it 2-Zero within the final minute of the sport and it was one among their former gamers who obtained the objective…
The unlucky Jeremy Matheiu – who left Barca for Sporting on a free in the summertime – may solely flip the ball into his personal internet as he sprinted again to dam Denis Suarez’s low cross.
Sporting will proceed their European marketing campaign within the Europa League as they completed third above backside positioned Olympiacos, whereas Barcelona await the draw on December 11 to search out out their opponents for the Spherical of 16.