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Barca en-route to Champions League semifinals after 5-1 win

04-07-2011 09:53 BJT

FC Barcelona look to have booked their place in the last four of the Champions League following a 5-1 home win over Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk in the first leg of their Champions League quarterfinal.

The Catalans now have a comfortable lead to take to the Ukraine next week while the Barcelona players made light of the words of coach Pep Guardiola on Tuesday, when he commented that he was worried about the physical condition of his side.

Barcelona's Gerard Pique (L) shoots to score against Shakhtar Donetsk during the first leg
of their Champions League quarter-final soccer match at Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona April
6, 2011.(Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

In response to their coach's words, the Barcelona players produced a magnificent display that could well put them on the way to a semifinal clash with Spanish rivals Real Madrid.

Guardiola kicked off with Sergio Busquets in central defense, Seydou Keita in midfield and Javier Mascherano in the holding role to free Andres Iniesta to help in attack.

It provided to be a wise move as Iniesta opened the scoring in the second minute. The midfielder, who has just become a father, received a pass from Leo Messi and scored with a right foot shot from inside the penalty area.

However, Shakhtar responded well and the side from the Ukraine were looking dangerous on the break with Luis Adriano wasting a great chance following an error from Dani Alves.

At the other end Messi went close with a neat lob that just cleared the crossbar, before Alves more than atoned for his earlier error by scoring Barca's second goal of the night following a pass from Iniesta, who was enjoying a magnificent night in the Camp Nou.

Gerard Pique scored Barca's third goal of the night in the 54th minute and the tie looked to be secure for Barcelona, nevertheless Shakhtar pulled a goal back just before the hour when Yaroslav Rakitsky scored from a direct free kick.

Barely a minute later, Keita scored Barca's fourth with a powerful shot from the edge of the area following a magnificent team move from Barca.

With four minutes left Xavi Hernandez made it 5-1 with a close range finish following another passing move.

Barcelona's Andres Iniesta and Shakhtar Donetsk's Tomas Hubschman (L) fight for the ball
during the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final soccer match at Camp Nou
stadium in Barcelona April 6, 2011.(Xinhua/Reuters Photo)


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