Monday, September 12, 2011
Messi double gives Barca 2-0 win over Copenhagen
Barcelona's Lionel Messi celebrates his goal against FC Copenhagen during their Champions League Group D soccer match at Nou Camp stadium in Barcelona October 20, 2010.
BARCELONA - Lionel Messi struck twice to fire Barcelona to a 2-0 victory over FC Copenhagen in Champions League Group D on Wednesday and lift the La Liga side to the top of the standings.
Barca had long periods of possession at a balmy Nou Camp stadium but found it tough to break down a well drilled Copenhagen side who tirelessly harried the home players to deny them space and time.
Messi netted his third goal of this season's competition in the 19th minute when he controlled a pass from Andres Iniesta and lashed the ball into the top left corner from just outside the penalty area.
The home side controlled the match comfortably enough but lacked cutting edge and Messi had to wait until added time for his second. The ball fell to the Argentina forward two yards out and he tapped it over the line with the goalkeeper stranded.
Barca's Spain striker David Villa had earlier curled a shot against the crossbar in the fifth minute and the impressive Dame N'Doye almost grabbed a shock equaliser for the visitors in the 67th when he cracked the ball against the bar from distance.
With Xavi still suffering from an ankle problem, Barca coach Pep Guardiola left the playmaker on the bench and started with Javier Mascherano, Sergio Busquets and Maxwell in midfield and Andres Iniesta roving just behind forwards Messi and Villa.
Copenhagen captain William Kvist almost surprised Barca goalkeeper Jose Manuel Pinto, playing in place of the unwell Victor Valdes, with a long-range effort in the 88th and Barca defender Daniel Alves struck a post a minute later before Messi's second in the second minute of added time.
With three of six matches played, Barca have seven points and Copenhagen are second on six. Rubin Kazan have two and Panathinaikos one after they drew 0-0 in Athens on Wednesday.
Barcelona's Lionel Messi (L) celebrates his second goal against FC Copenhagen with teammates Sergio Busquets (C) and Eric Abidal during their Champions League Group D soccer match at Nou Camp stadium in Barcelona October 20, 2010.
Barcelona's Lionel Messi (L) celebrates his goal against FC Copenhagen with teammate Sergio Busquets as FC Copenhagen's goalkeeper Johan Wiland reacts during their Champions League Group D soccer match at Nou Camp stadium in Barcelona October 20, 2010.
Posted by electronic at 8:20 AM