Barcelona edge past Sporting in Lisbon

Barcelona cemented their place at the top of Group D with a narrow 1-0 Champions League win over Sporting CP on Wednesday night.

Sporting CP 0 Barcelona 1
Coates with an own-goal on 49′

Match summary

Barcelona controlled possession well but were largely contained by Sporting at the Estádio José Alvalade in Lisbon as it took a Sebastian Coates own-goal to separate these two sides.

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Full report

The visitors were quickly out of the blocks as Lionel Messi came close on 10 minutes with a curling free-kick that evaded everyone in the box before nearly sneaking in at the back post.

Luis Suarez sliced a 16th minute shot well over the target after Ivan Rakitic had forced his way into the box as Cristiano Piccini scooped his effort over Marc-Andre ter Stegen at the other end.

Messi then hit straight at Patricio after Suarez had dummied a square ball from Jordi Alba on 20 minutes.

Barca were enjoying all of the possession but Suarez failed to beat Patricio with his next effort ahead of a header from Messi that was straight at the Sporting goalkeeper.

Marcos Acuna forced Ter Stegen in a good low save as Sporting looked to attack on the break while Fabio Coentrao did well to block a marauding Messi with the half winding down.

Then with Sporting very much in the game at the start of the second half, another curling Messi free-kick, on 49 minutes, was half nodded on by Suarez and into the net off the chest of the unfortunate Coates.

The referee waved play on after 55 minutes after a foul on Rakitic by Bas Dost in the box ahead of an over-hit Messi free-kick and a comfortable save for Patricio from Suarez from the edge of the box with 67 played.

Ter Stegen denied Bruno Fernandes with a good save ahead of a poor strike from William Carvalho that failed to test the Barca stopper.

And Patricio stopped substitute Paulinho from adding to the scoreline when one-on-one with the Brazilian late on in an ultimately comfortable but unconvincing performance from the Group D leaders.

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