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Barca near Champions League knockout stages with win over Shakhtar

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Barca near Champions League knockout stages with win over Shakhtar

Barcelona secured a 2-1 victory over Shakhtar Donetsk Wednesday, sustaining their flawless document and remaining on monitor to progress to the Champions League knockout rounds, marking a major turnaround from their earlier two group-stage eliminations.

Ferran Torres and Fermin Lopez scored a objective every within the first half to assist Barcelona safe their third straight victory in Group H.

The Catalan membership reached 9 factors, three greater than Porto, which gained 4-1 at winless Antwerp. Shakhtar stayed with three factors.

Barcelona, the five-time European champion, haven’t superior previous the group stage since Lionel Messi left in 2021.

“It’s a sign of progress for us to earn nine points in the first three matches,” Barcelona coach Xavi said. “We usually are not by to the following stage but, however we took a step towards that.”

The victory stored La Blaugrana unbeaten in 13 matches general this season, with 10 wins and three attracts.

Shakhtar, within the debut of recent coach Marino Pusic, had been attempting to win consecutive Champions League matches for the primary time in over 5 years.

Torres put Barcelona forward within the twenty eighth with a volley from inside the realm after Lopez’s shot hit the woodwork.

Lopez added to the lead within the thirty sixth after clearing a defender simply outdoors the realm and firing a right-footed shot into the highest nook.

The ball hit the submit earlier than discovering the web.

Shakhtar, who gained at Antwerp within the earlier spherical, pulled one nearer with Georgiy Sudakov in a breakaway within the 62nd in what was the primary objective conceded by Barcelona within the Champions League this season.

The Catalan membership stayed principally in management by the top to safe the win, its fourth within the final 5 matches in all competitions.

Torres had a objective known as off for offside within the 59th, and Lopez had one disallowed for a similar purpose within the sixtieth, simply after he had hit the submit.

Torres had scored the winner for Barcelona in its 1-0 win at Porto within the earlier spherical.

“It was difficult; they have a good team, but we are happy with the victory and the nine points,” said the 20-year-old Lopez, another product of Barcelona’s famous La Masia academy. “It was a key match to maneuver us nearer to qualifying for the following stage. We suffered a bit, however in the long run, we obtained the three factors.”

Barcelona was with out playmaker Gavi due to a suspension. Several common starters, together with Robert Lewandowski, Frenkie de Jong and Pedri had been out due to accidents.

Xavi didn’t need to take any dangers forward of the match towards Real Madrid on Saturday within the first “clasico” of the season within the Spanish league.

Joao Felix needed to depart the match within the seventy fifth with a minor knock.

He was changed by 17-year-old Marc Guiu, who on Sunday scored seconds into his first-team debut in a 1-0 win towards Athletic Bilbao within the Spanish league.

Barcelona’s İlkay Gündoğan made his one centesimal UEFA competitors look.

Pusic was appointed as Shakhtar coach a day earlier than the match to switch Patrick van Leeuwen, who was fired final week after simply 12 video games in cost.

Pusic joined from Dutch champion Feyenoord, the place he was an assistant to teach Arne Slot.

“My team went through a lot of emotions,” Pusic said. “They’ve had three coaches in a number of days. They are footballers, however they’re folks too – we are able to’t overlook that they’ve feelings. They confirmed up and competed with Barcelona tonight, so I’m enormously proud.”

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