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UEFA Champions League

  • 20 November 2012
  • • 17:00
  • • Olimpiyskiy stadion Luzhniki, Moskva
  • Referee: I. Bebek
  • • Attendance: 67325

Live Commentary

  • Thanks all. Hope you enjoyed that one? Routine stuff really, but always good fun to watch this Barcelona team. Unill next time. Be lucky, folks.
  • 90' + 4'
    And that's that. It's all over here. Barca are through. Spartak are going home; well, they're already at home, but you know what I mean. Spartak Moscow 0-4 Barcelona.
  • 90' + 3'
    Play stops momentarily as a silly fan decide to run onto the pitch.
  • 90' + 2'
    Yellow Card Kim Källström
    That's a poor one from Kallstrom on Fabregas, and he'll go into the book too.
  • 90'
    Yellow Card Javier Mascherano
    Mascherano goes into the book for a tackle from behind on Welliton. Probably a little unlucky to go into the book. "It's my first one," he pleads.
  • 88'
    Kallstrom nips past Fabregas and crosses for Welliton, but the Brazilian is flagged offside.
  • 87'
    SubstitutionJordi Alba Montoya
  • 86'
    Another cross looks to cause problems for Barcelona, but Alba clears before Kallstrom fires a shot way over the bar.
  • 85'
    SubstitutionPedro Gerard Deulofeu
  • 83'
    Jaro gives the ball straight to Messi. You really don't want to do that. The little man skips around Dykan but Insaurralde recovers to clear. It was very nearly four there.
  • 82'
    The game's up, and Tito feels its tie a couple had a rest.
  • 81'
    SubstitutionXavi Alex Song
  • 81'
    Barcelona lose possession as Jurado leads the counter-attack, but his shot is deflected wide for a corner that comes to nothing.
  • 79'
    Confusion there as Fabregas took a throw-in that the Spartak defenders thought had been awarded to them. The ball goes back to Pedro, who gets his shot all wrong and the ball bounces harmlessly wide.
  • 78'
    Someone just tackled Iniesta. Seriously.
  • 77'
    Messi breaks inside the right-hand channel, pulls it back for Iniesta, whose shot is blocked, before it squirms to Pedro on the left, but his cross-shot is saved by Dykan.
  • 76'
    Barca still probing, this time with Pedro drifting left to knock in a ow cross which is well cleared. But again they come. Again and again.
  • 75'
    SubstitutionRafael Carioca Sergey Bryzgalov
  • 75'
    Messi stat: Leo has now scored in 14 countries - until tonight, Russia was the only country in the Champions League in which he was yet to score. Thanks to Seba Garcia from Goal Argentina for that one.
  • 73'
    At last Welliton does get wrong side of the Barcelona defence, but Valdes rushes from his line to clear.
  • 72'
    Having said that, they did go long and Alba missed the high ball, leaving Markeeb wrong side, but his touch is poor.
  • 71'
    Barca continue to casually knock the ball around, easily resisting Spartak's half-press. The Russians need to go long and try and Welliton isolated against Mascherano or Pique. Easier said than done.
  • 69'
    Barcelona have enjoyed this artificial surface tonight. It's nice when you can trust the ball. I imagine Xavi will want one for Christmas.
  • 67'
    Well that was weird. Welliton charged down Valdes and tripped, rolling straight into the Barca keeper who suffered a blow to his knee. All handshakes, though, no harm doing.
  • 66'
    Despite Spartak getting more bodies forward when in possession, Barca still in complete control here.
  • 64'
    SubstitutionEmenike Zhano Ananidze
    Emenike departs for Ananidze.
  • 63'
    SubstitutionKirill Kombarov Welliton
    Kirill Kombarov makes way for the Brazilian.
  • 62'
    Yellow Card Rafael Carioca
  • 62'
    Welliton about to come on for Spartak. They may as well have a go.
  • 61'
    That Emenike chance aside, Spartak have hardly had a kick this half. Must be horrible playing against this lot.
  • 59'
    Tito must be enjoying life as a head coach, that night in Glasgoe aside. With their win over Zaragoza on Saturday they equalled Real Madrid's 1991-92 record of 34 points from a possible 36 in La Liga - the best ever start to a Primera Division campaign.
  • 57'
    Messi crosses for Pedro, who finds himself with a free header from six yards, but his weak header is straight at Dykan. There's certainly more goals to be had here for the visitors.
  • 54'
    More fantastic quick passing from Barca before Fabregas plays a one-two with Iniesta and bursts into the box, but is low, placed, shot is well saved.
  • 52'
    Spartak certainly look a little more expansive than they did in the first-half. May as well go out with a bang.
  • 50'
    Another good chance goes begging for Spartak. This time Emenike finds himself all lone on the penalty spot, but can't control the cross. He perhaps should have gone with his head.
  • 48'
    A straw for the Spartak fans out there: This season, Emery's side won their first three league games for only the fourth time. On the previous three occasions they did that they went on to win the title.
  • 46'
    And we're off. Again. Spartak need an early goal here. Well, they could do with lots of early goals. They need to keep breaking quickly. Emenike has barely stretched his legs so far tonight.
  • Lionel Messi has been the Champions League's top scorer in four successive seasons. Blimey. I've run out of things to say about him. That can be problematic in my trade.
  • 45'
    And that's half-time. Barcelona lead 3-0.
  • 45'
    Pedro released down the right. He teases his defender but can't pick out a low cross. He should've done better there.
  • 45'
    Although he'll be telling his players they can get themselves back into this one. They've created three very good chances.
  • 44'
    Barca in complete control now. Unai Emery has never seen one of his sides beat Barcelona. Doesn't look like that will change tonight.
  • 42'
    Messi has 277 goals for Barcelona. He is 25. Seriously, just think about that for a minute.
  • 40'
    Another fantastic ball sends Alba away down the left before Juan Insaurralde dispossesses Messi inside the area. Barcelona finding more and more space now. This one's over.
  • 39'
    Assist Pedro
  • 39'
    Goal Lionel Messi
    GOAL! Messi again. Wonderful, wonderful goal. Pass after pass after pass. Pedro finds space, turns, great ball though the middile. Nessi is one-on-one and skips around Dykan. That's brilliant.
  • 36'
    Yellow Card Pedro
    Pedro goes into the book for diving. Messi played him in, he nipped around Dykan and took a dive. He knows it too.
  • 35'
    Another chance goes begging for Spartak. This time Dmitriy Kombarov charged froward and played a fantastic ball between Valdes and his defenders, only for Emenike to waste his chance from close range.
  • 34'
    That came to nothing, but the Suchy will think twice about trying to tackle Iniesta next time.
  • 33'
    Iniesta beats one, two, three, and there's a nutmeg. Ole!
  • 31'
    Barca concede possession and here goes Emenike... but Mascherano stands him up and pinches the ball. Superb defending.
  • 30'
    No real surprise that the heatmap shows that the majority of the game has taken place in Spartak's half so far.
  • 28'
    It's looking increasingly like Spartak's Champions League campaign will end tonight. Unai Emery has every reason to feel hard done by right now, his side should have at least one.
  • 27'
    Goal Lionel Messi
    GOAL! Barcelona are two up. Wonderful ball inside the full-back for Iniesta. The Spaniard cut inside and saw his shot saved, but guess who was following up to dispatch the ball in the bottom corner.
  • 24'
    Victory for Barcelona tonight will see them qualify from the group with a game to spare. And I doubt they will stop there - they reached a competition record fifth consecutive UEFA Champions League semi-final last season.
  • 22'
    Here they come again. This time it was Emenike down the right. The Nigerian delivered a great ball but Suchy slices his effort high and wide from 12 yards. That was a very good chance, and the Spartak fans will believe they should be level here.
  • 20'
    Spartak come forward but lose possession as soon as they slow up, allowing Barca to counter at the other end. You get the feeling that the hosts need to be direct in transition if they are to break through here.
  • 18'
    Barca continue to pop the ball about on this smooth surface. Xavi completed 169 passes on matchday three, only 13 fewer than the whole of the Celtic team combined managed that night.
  • 16'
    Goal Daniel Alves
    GOAL! Barca lead. Lionel Messi caused mayhem in the Spartak box before a half clearance fell to Dani Alves, whose half-volley flew into the bottom corner. Moscow falls silent.
  • 14'
    Really well worked corner from Spartak there, as the short corner is rolled into Ari at the front post. The Brazilian flicked the ball back for Kombarov, who blasted his shot over the bar from just inside the area. You get the feeling the home side can't afford to waste chances like that this evening.
  • 13'
    And from the resulting corner Pique is left unmarked, but get his header all wrong. Two real chances for the visitors there.
  • 12'
    Great ball into the box from Xavi for Pedro, who takes the ball wonderfully on his chest before his left-footed volley is blocked by Dykan. Best move of the game so far.
  • 11'
    Markeev again finds space on the right as Spartak break forward on the counter, but this time his cross is way too deep and it comes to nothing.
  • 9'
    Markeev gets forward and down the right and beyond Jordi Alba before crossing for Kallstron, but the big Swede's volley is safely over Valdes' bar.
  • 8'
    Messi drops deep, plays a neat one-two with Messi but is crowded out as Spartak concede another corner - which Barca again play to feet.
  • 6'
    There's a warning for Barca, and a glimpse at Spartak's game plan tonight, as Jurado gains possession and quickly looks for the pacey Emenike between Pique and Mascherano. Pique slid to cut that out, but they will have to watch those quick transitions.
  • 4'
    Spartak look intent on not letting Barca though - good luck with that. They are essentially set up in a 5-4-1 when not in possession.
  • 3'
    Barca work the ball wide to Pedro, but his attempted cross is deflected out for a corner. Xavi's deep corner goes all the way out to Jordi Alba, and Barca pop it around again.
  • 2'
    It's not that cold out there today, for Moscow standards, and the artificial pitch might suit the Barca boys, who will want the ball to zip around.
  • 1'
    And we're off!
  • Stat attack: Víctor Valdes, Javier Mascherano, Xavi and Lionel Messi have played every minute of Barca's group campaign; Rafael Carioca and Dmitri Kombarov have played every minute of Spartak's.
  • Stat attack: Messi’s club and country total of 78 goals in 2012 is three more than Pele managed in 1958 and just seven away from Gerd Muller's 1972 record of 85. 85! Blimey!
  • Barcelona: Valdes; Dani Alves, Pique, Mascherano, Alba; Busquets, Xavi, Fabregas; Pedro, Iniesta, Messi.
  • Spartak Moscow: Dykan; Kombarov, Insaurralde, Suchy, Makeev; Carioca, Kallstrom, Jurado, Kombarov; Ari, Emenike.
  • The team news is in. At one stage Spartak found themselves without a fit goalkeeper for this one, which would have been a lot of fun. Fortunately for them, they’ve patched up veteran Andriy Dykan just in time to take his place between the posts.
  • Evening, all. Welcome to's LIVE text commentary of tonight’s Uefa Champions League group game between Spartak Moscow and Barcelona. My name is Rupert Fryer and I will be guiding you through the action this evening.