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Barca, Benzema Draw Praise
International Herald Tribune, February 21st, 2008 4:30PM



Barcelona played fantastic, free-flowing soccer in its 3-2 come-from-behind win at Celtic Park last night. The Hoops scored two goals from two chances, while the Blaugrana peppered the Celtic goal all night. It would have been a bigger scoreline but for some heroic goalkeeping from Artur Boruc. Celtic manager Gordon Strachan summed it up at the end of the match: "The game has been played 150 years and it does not change. The team that passes the ball better wins the games. Barcelona have the best team, certainly the best squad in the world -- I'd have needed nine of my players to be at their best tonight, and unfortunately we were nowhere near that."

Over in Lyon, Manchester United supporters were holding their breath until Carlos Tevez came to the rescue with another late equalizer, after Lyon striker Karim Benzema, whose list of admirers includes United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, had fired the hosts in front with an unstoppable left-footed strike in the 54th minute. As Ferguson said, "Great strikers score great goals. That was a great goal, nothing you can do about it."

Don't be surprised if you see Benzema wearing the red of Manchester United next season, says Rob Hughes of the International Herald Tribune: "The sooner Lyon is out of the Champions League, the sooner progress might be made on any deal." Tevez's 87th minute equalizer, brilliantly fashioned by fellow substitute Nani, certainly put the Red Devils in the driver's seat for the second-leg.

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