Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
All's well that ends well for Barca
by Paul Kennedy, February 14th, 2012 10:47PM

MOST READ
TAGS:  uefa champions league

MOST COMMENTED

[UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE] By Lionel Messi's standards, he'd gotten off to a slow start in 2012. He had six goals in 11 games heading into Tuesday's Champions League match at Bayer Leverkusen. But he showed why he's won the Ballon d'Or as the best player in the world the last three years, setting up Barcelona's first goal and scoring the third in a 3-1 win that will ease the defending champion's worries about a tough round-of-16 series.

Chilean Alexis Sanchez had the first two goals before Messi scored the third after combining niftily with Dani Alves.

It was the first time Barca had won its first match in the knockout stage under Coach Pep Guardiola.

"It was important for us to win this match, because under Pep we have never won the first match in the round of 16," said Messi. "We knew it would be complicated to play against the Germans. It's always nice to score a goal, but the important thing was the result for the team."

Barca was looking for a strong effort after its 3-2 loss at Osasuna all but ended La Liga title race. It didn't start well at Leverkusen but got better as the game went.

"I think the second half was good, we used the space better after we took the lead," said Guardiola. "We tried to improve our game, we had a few chances in the first half, but perhaps the final pass was missing. We can be happy with the performance we put in today, we have given ourselves a good chance now for the return leg. We know that the Germans play a good long-ball game, they use their height and Leverkusen really came at us in the second half and we know we have to be careful in the second leg."

In Tuesday's other game, Lyon beat APOEL, 1-0, on a second-half goal by Alexandre Lacazette.



1 comment
  1. I w Nowozeniuk
    commented on: February 15, 2012 at 12:39 p.m.
    Messi's off-ball running is stunning, while his touches are sublime and finishing iconic. The way he reads the game at top speed is amazing.


Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
What They're Saying: Jurgen Klinsmann    
"That he's made some statements that he's not content, sees it differently, that's legitimate and that's ...
Regional championship kicks off in Washington    
[COPA CENTROAMERICANA] Such is the drawing power of Central American teams that Uncaf, the governing body ...
What They're Saying: Greg Maas    
"I'll tell you straightaway, it was a dream come true." -- Utah Valley men's coach Greg ...
Who laughs last after transfer deadline?    
[SOCIAL MEDIA ROUNDUP] As the transfer deadline came and went, hundreds of millions changed hands, players ...
Soccer America Power Rankings    
[MLS: Week 25] FC Dallas held the top spot despite its unbeaten streak ending at 10 ...
Charlotte's playoff hopes dented with draw    
[USL PRO: Week 25] The Charlotte Eagles didn't do its playoff hopes any good as it ...
Defoe will stay at Toronto FC    
[MLS SPOTLIGHT] So much for those stories of Jermain Defoe leaving Toronto FC. Monday's transfer deadline ...
A 'no-look' finish from Brazilian in Bundesliga    
[VIDEO PICK: Golazo] Hoffenheim's Roberto Firmino had a splendid first touch to settle a chipped through ...
What They're Saying: Javier Hernandez    
"To wear this jersey is a dream come true for any player in the world. Everyone ...
HSV's Beiersdorfer: Green and Holtby are 'great players'    
[AMERICANS ABROAD] Julian Green is officially a member of German Bundesliga club Hamburg, completing the move ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives