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Oct 2, 2008

FC Barcelona produced another last Gasp victory to clinch all three points and move to the top of the group. Shaktar Donetsk would have really deserved at least a point after leading the game for majority of the game. FC Barcelona found it very difficult to deal with the physical style of game which Shaktar employed and their task was made an Herculean one with an English referee in charge. Guardiola went back to the 3-4-3 formation he used against Lisbon in the last Champions League. But against such physical opponents a usual 4-3-3 formation would have been much better. Puyol and Alves were really troubled by Shaktar players. Guardiola had Puyol as Left Back, Marquez played a centre role and Pique played the right Back role. Ahead of Pique was Alves and ahead of him was the combination of Keita, xavi and Toure holding the midfield. With Messi rested Iniesta moved to the right and Eto to the left and Henry played the centre striker role.

Thierry henry wasted the best chance of FC Barcelona in the 7th minute when Eto send a great ball to Henry who shot the ball close to the Goal Keeper. Actually that was the only clear cut chance Barca created in the whole of the first half. Majority of the half was played in midfield with both the teams wrestling to retain possesion. In the 37th minute Valdes produced a briliant save to deny Ilsinho after Marquez failed to deal with an average cross from Brandao. But in the 45th minute Valdes remained helpless when Ilsinho slot the ball past him to take the lead after some awful defending by Puyol Marquez and Pique. Pique made a mess of an aerial ball and headed back wards towards Ilsinho who was surrounded by Puyol and Marquez; Puyol's first touch was horrible and Ilsinho broke past both of them to give Shaktar a shock lead.

FC Barcelona came out more determined in the second half. Iniesta tried to up the tempo but none of his team mates could link well with him. In the 53rd minute free kick from Alves was saved by Pyatov, the Shaktar custodian; that ball swirles and was going to the far left bottom corner of the goal. Guardiola brought Messi in for Henry and within eight minutes he had a great impact. In the 68th minute Messi played a great ball to Eto who wasted a golden chance to equalise from a one on one situation by holding to the ball for more time and then slotting the shot just wide of the goal. In the 74th minute Bojan was brought in for Eto and suddenly Barca started to find pace in their move. In the 77th minute Valdes produced another save to deny Srna from a free kick. In the 82nd minute Gudjonsen was brought in for Keita. In the same minute Bojan dribbled past four defenders in to the box but his shot hit side netting. In the 86th minute Iniesta send a great cross from left but Messi failed to control it. In the 87th minute Messi equalised after a fumble by Pyatov. This was claimed to be a controversial goal but I never understood why it was controversial. The incident started with Shaktar players clearing the ball from their box to safety. At the same time one of their defender fell down injured and it was clear that he was faking it to kill time as he got up the moment the ball was cleared. On a second look the defender who cleared the ball never knew that his fellow player has fallen down and he did to clear any danger out of the box. Shaktar players expected Barca players to kick the ball away from throwin, Bojan was not interested and he slotted a Cross from left, a very harmless cross; Goal Keeper Pyatov, failed to held on to the simplest of the ball and it fell straight to Messi who slotted it to the Goal. Shaktar players protested and this protest and their time wasting act came to haunt them in the 94th minute when Messi chipped over the Goal Keeper's head to slot Barcelona's second after receiving a wonderful ball from Xavi.

All About FC Barcelona is a Blog dedicated to the Most prestigous Club in the world, FC Barcelona by an ardent fan. Here I discuss about the Latest happening surrounding our Club and present my Views about the same.

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