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Champions League: Barca rout Shakhtar 5-1

Shakhtar Donetsk, Champions League, Andres Iniesta, Dani Alves, Gerard Pique, Sports, Football, Football News

Barcelona: Barcelona staked their claim for a semi-final berth in the Champions League by ruthlessly dispatching Shakhtar Donetsk 4-1 at the Camp Nou this evening.
Goals from Andres Iniesta, Dani Alves and Gerard Pique handed the Blaugrana a position of dominance, and although the visitors pulled a goal back through Rakitskiy, Seydou Keita's piledriver and Xavi's late fifth swung the pendulum back in favour of the 2009 champions, with Real Madrid potentially lying in wait in the last four.
The Catalan crowd had barely settled into the seats before their charges had settled early nerves by breaking the deadlock.

Lionel Messi's through pass took a deflection into the path of Iniesta, who composed himself before slotting inside Pyatov's near post from close range.
It was a nightmare start for the Ukrainians, but across the next twenty minutes they had a series of opportunities to level the match. Luiz Adriano ran clear only for his touch to desert him, then moments later he could only poke wide of goal when one-on-one with Victor Valdes.
Then, Alves' short back-pass forced Valdes to rush from his line to clear, and Willian could only return the ball wide of the empty net. Pep Guardiola appeared concerned as to the chances his team were offering, but they soon took control, and moved two in front just after the half-hour mark.
Iniesta waited patiently for Alves to make the run in behind full-back Razvan Rat, and picked him out with a glorious curving pass that the Brazilian controlled just ahead of Pyatov, before rolling home.
The match was stretching out of the reach Shakhtar at this stage, and at the beginning of the second period their task verged on the insurmountable. A well-worked corner saw Gerard Pique dart across the penalty spot, and his low shot caught the body of Rakitskiy before finding the corner of the net.
Mircea Lucescu's visitors were given a reprieve on the hour, however, as Darijo Srna's free-kick was converted by the shin of Rakitskiy, and suddenly the tie appeared competivie once more.
That notion lasted no longer than 60 seconds, as Messi burst forward with pace and intent, eventually sliding the ball left to Seydou Keita, who lashed the ball high into the roof of Pyatov's goal.
Keita's thunderbolt dented Shakhtar's spirit, but the unfortunate Luiz Adriano was agonisingly denied a second away goal for his team, when his far post shot cannoned off the inside of the post and rebouded into the arms of Valdes.
Messi had a goal ruled out for offside a minute later, but the scoring was complete on 86 minutes when the hugely impressive Alves shimmied and struck a low cross that found Xavi unmarked, and Barca's record appearance holder swept home, to effectively end the tie.
The Blaugrana will take a 5-1 lead to the Donbass Arena, an advantage that is surely decisive, but Shakhtar will be left to rue what might have been had they been clinical in front of goal.

Read more at:http://ibnlive.in.com/news/champions-league-barca-rout-shakhtar-51/148479-5-21.html

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