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UEFA Champions League
November 1, 2011
• Eden Aréna, Praha
Referee: R. Schörgenhofer
• Attendance: 20145
L. Messi 24', 45'+, 90'+
Full time in Prague. A Messi hat trick and a Fabregas goal were enough for Barcelona to see off Viktoria Plzen with a comfortable 4-0 victory. Barca now qualify for the Champions League Knockout Stage. Thank you for joining us on Goal.com!
90' + 2'
90' + 2'
GOOOOOOAL FOR BARCELONA! Messi gets his hat-trick! A lovely goal from Barca as the Argentine links up smartly with Pique just outside the box before charging through and taking the goal around Pavlik and slotting home!
Vintage Barcelona passing at the moment. They are using the entire width of the park to spray the play and further tire their opponents.
Barca just running down the clock now. The Viktoria Plzen players do look extremely fatigued now. And no wonder, they have been chasing shadows with a man down for the majority of the game.
Messi collects the ball outside the Plzen box and attempts at goal from a huge distance. That was ambitious even for the Argentine maestro! It did not manage to trouble Pavlik in the goal.
Barca have tremendous pace on each flank now. Alexis Sanchez has looked bright since his introduction and has caused Rajtoral some problems with his dribbling skill.
Horvath comes off for Plzen to be replaced by Radim Reznik. The captain may be getting took off for his own good after earning a silly booking for a foul on Pique.
Yellow Card Pavel Horváth
Alexis Sanchez came on for Barca a few minutes ago as he returns from injury. He is involved in the action straight away as he aims a shot at Pavlik's left hand post but again the goalkeeper makes a smart save.
Yellow Card Petr Jirácek
Viktoria Plzen are starting to show signs of real frustration. Gerard Pique was brought down fairly viciously at the Barca corner flag but no booking was administered.
Yellow Card Roman Pavlík
Goal Cesc Fàbregas
GOOOOOOOAL FOR BARCELONA!!! Cuenca finds room down the right wing and lobs a cross to the back post where Fabregas is standing unmarked to header past Pavlik. 3-0. Game over.
Viktoria Plzen bring on striker Michal Duris in place of Daniel Kolar so maybe this is a sign that the hosts are willing to give it a real go in the last 25 minutes of play.
Barcelona make their first substitution of the match as Sergio Busquets comes off for Seydou Keita.
Petrzela misses a great chance for Plzen!! Kolar gets down the left and whips a cross to the back post for Petrzela who volleys wide of the right-hand post!
It is all Barcelona at the moment, the match has been like a passing drill for the Catalan side in the last few minutes.
Yellow Card David Limbersky
Plzen have dropped off in their pressing of the ball, and as a result Barca are playing the ball around at walking pace, they are in no rush for their third goal.
Excellent play from Cuenca down the right-hand wing. The young Spaniard took the ball down with a fantastic first touch before sending in a pin-point pass to the feet of Lionel Messi.
Plzen are still battling well to regain the ball, but they will have to inject some quality in their passing whenever they get possession.
Free kick for Barcelona from about 25 yards. Messi clips it over the wall and Pavlik pulls off a wonderful save to his left hand side! That was creeping in the post!
The free kick is blasted off the Barcelona wall and the visitors mount a counter attack, however they eventually revert back to patient passing play.
Yellow Card Daniel Alves
The free kick goes out for a corner kick. The ball is then whipped in but Barca manage to clear. Pilar picks up the ball and earns a free kick in a great position.
Dani Alves is booked and misses the next match after clipping the heel of Kolar down the left wing. Free kick to Viktoria Plzen.
Barcelona kick off the second half. The home side have a momentous task ahead of them. Two goals and a man down. Expect Barca to go on and perhaps grab a couple of more goals.
Half time in Prague. Barcelona go in with a 2-0 lead thanks to a Lionel Messi double. A moment of magic and a penalty from the Argentine have been the difference so far. Join us in 15 minutes for the second half!
45' + 2'
45' + 2'
GOOOOOOOAL FOR BARCELONA!!! Messi grabs his second goal of the match after exchanging a neat one-two with Adriano inside the box and then striking the ball into the bottom right corner! 2-0 to Barca!
Barca have been over-elaborate with their final ball in the box so far, Thiago and Fabregas have been the worst offenders. They are trying to walk the ball in the net a tad.
Plzen manage to clear the corner but Barca manage to pick it up again and continue with their domination of the possession. Plzen are forming a solid defensive unit but they will need to remain concentrated.
Pavlik makes another smart save after Messi picked up the ball just outside the box and dragged a shot at goal that looked to be creeping in until the Plzen goalkeeper turned it round the post.
Victor Valdes now holds the record for the longest amount of time without conceding a goal for Barcelona. What a fantastic milestone for the Spaniard.
Barcelona free kick deep down the right wing, Messi clips it on but Plzen manage to clear. For the most part the hosts have defended well but they need to see more of the ball to affect the game.
Most of Barcelona's attacking play is coming through Messi coming to the right and linking up with Cuenca. However, apart from the goal their has not been any clear cut chances for the Catalan side.
Barca's passing has been slack in the last few minutes, possession has been needlessly surrendered by Fabregas and Busquets on a couple of occasions.
The Barca goal has by no means dampened the spirit of the home side and their fans. The players have shown good character so far in the game, but they will need to take chances when they come their way.
Marek Bakos has been sacrificed for Viktoria Plzen. Frantisek Sevinsky will now enter the fray.
Penalty Goal Messi
GOOOOOOOOAL FOR BARCELONA!!! Messi scores his 200th Barca goal with a delightfully taken penalty into the bottom left corner! 1-0!
Red Card Marián Čišovský
Penalty for Barcelona!! Cisovsky is sent off after taking away Messi's legs in the area. Plzen are down to ten men!
Cesc Fabregas tests Pavlik again with a rasper of a shot from distance. That was moving everywhere but the goalkeeper done well to parry it away!
It in a very very open game at the moment. Barca are playing the ball about in the final third but Plzen look ready to pounce on the counter attack. They certainly have some pace in their team!
Yellow Card Václav Pilař
Viktoria Plzen quick counter attack! Petrzela is through on goal but Valdes makes a tremendous save to his left-hand side. Big chance missed by Plzen!
Barcelona just starting to feel there way into the game, they are enjoying a decent spell outside the Plzen box at the moment, with plenty of neat first touch passes being exchanged. Nothing yet for the visitors though.
Penalty shout for Barcelona!!! Cesc Fabregas cleverly checks back on his left foot inside the box and his standing leg is took away by Jiracek! Ohhh that looked a penalty! Plzen get away with one!
Pilar shows a bit of class again as he nicks the ball from Dani Alves on the left wing and flicks a great cross into the six yard box with the outside of his right foot but Valdes was alert and manages to smother the ball.
Messi finds space between the Plzen defence and midfield and turns sharply before testing Pavlik in the Plzen goal with a shot from distance but it was a comfortable save for the goalkeeper.
Excellent play from Pilar, the Plzen midfielder showed great desire to close down Gerard Pique and slide in with a perfectly timed tackle. The ball goes out for a Barca goal kick.
The home side have started the match brightly, and are playing the ball about confidently. Barcelona had a small period of possession but a poor pass from Busquets sent the ball out of play.
The game has kicked off in the Czech Republic. Barcelona obviously go into the match as massive favourites, but perhaps the home side can give Pep Guardiola's men a scare or two. The Plzen fans will be right behind their team. Can they pull off a major shock?
The players have made their way on to the field as the famous Champions League theme sounds out in the packed stadium.
You can follow me on Twitter at @MartinMac1 so don't forget to post your thoughts, feelings, and predictions on the match!
This is the starting XI of Barcelona: Valdes; Pique, Puyol, Abidal; Alves, Fabregas, Thiago, Busquets; Adriano, Cuenca, Messi.
The teams are in and this is how Viktoria Plzen will be lining up tonight: Pavlik; Limbersky, Bystron, Cisovsky, Pilar; Horvath, Petrzela, Jiracek, Kolar, Rajtoral; Bakos.
Barcelona won the last encounter between the sides two weeks ago with goals from Andres Iniesta and David Villa ensuring the win for the Catalan side.
Welcome to Goal.com's LIVE coverage of the Champions League Group H encounter between Viktoria Plzen and Barcelona at the Synot Tip Arena in Prague.
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