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UEFA Champions League

  • April 12, 2011
  • • 2:45 PM
  • • Donbass Arena, Donets'k
  • Referee: F. Meyer
  • • Attendance: 51759
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FT
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Barcelona win Aggregate 6 - 1

Shakhtar Donetsk 0-1 Barcelona (1-6 agg.): Messi strike eases Blaugrana into semi-finals

Shakhtar Donetsk 0-1 Barcelona (1-6 agg.): Messi strike eases Blaugrana into semi-finals

The Argentine superstar netted the only goal of the game as the Barcelona produced a professional performance to book their place in the final four.

Watch the UEFA Champions League Quarterfinals live Tues 4/12 and Wed 4/13 on FOX Soccer.  For full match schedule, click here!

Barcelona secured its spot in the semifinals of the Champions League thanks to a professional 1-0 victory over Shakhtar Donetsk at the Donbass Arena, to progress 6-1 on aggregate.

Lionel Messi struck the only goal on the stroke of halftime to seal a comprehensive win over the two legs, and set up a potential last-four meeting with Real Madrid.

Despite the seemingly impossible nature of the task facing the Ukrainian side, their followers packed into the stadium in hope that their team could produce a miracle comeback.

Shakhtar stormed out of the starting blocks in front of its vibrant home support, and should have taken the lead in the opening ten minutes. Jadson slipped a slide-rule pass into the path of Luiz Adriano, but the striker's turn and shot was saved by the strong wrist of Victor Valdes.

Visiting coach Pep Guardiola had opted to field a strong XI despite Real Madrid awaiting them in La Liga this weekend, and the Catalan giants eventually played their way into the contest in their own inimitable style.

Lionel Messi tested Andriy Pyatov from long-range, while Ibrahim Afellay, who was offered a rare start, also warmed the shot-stopper's gloves from outside the area.

Whatever fading aspirations Shakhtar held over performing the unthinkable were extinguished two minutes before the break, however, and it was Messi who made the difference.

Linking with Dani Alves on the right, the Argentine burst into the area and as the ball broke kindly into his path, he drilled his effort instinctively, low and into the corner, for his ninth Champions League goal of the season. The stadium fell silent; the inevitable was now upon Mircea Lucescu's men.

Shakhtar was desperate to restore an element of pride in the second period, and having surrendered its two-and-a-half year unbeaten home record at the weekend, did not want to taste defeat again.

And yet it was Messi who tormented them once more. The Ballon d'Or winner slalomed through the center of the pitch before laying in Afellay, but the Dutchman's curling shot was beaten to safety by Pyatov.

Lucescu threw Eduardo and Fernandinho into the action, and Henrikh Mkhitaryan forced Valdes into a smart save, palming over the crossbar from 12 yards, but the Miners were destined not to make the breakthrough.

The 2009 champions held on to secure their first away win in the knockout stages under Guardiola, and kept their end of the bargain in terms of establishing a Clasico semifinal against their arch-rivals from Madrid.


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