Chelsea held by Juve, Messi rescues Barcelona

Chelsea held by Juve, Messi rescues Barcelona
# 19 September 2012 23:50 (UTC +04:00)
Baku-APA. A Fabio Quagliarella goal denied holders Chelsea FC an opening win while Lionel Messi inspired FC Barcelona to come from behind and beat FC Spartak Moskva as the remaining set of matchday one fixtures were played on Wednesday night, APA reports quotinbg uefa.com.

Chelsea looked on course to start the defence of their UEFA Champions League title with victory when Oscar scored twice in quick succession to earn them a 2-0 first-half cushion against Italian title holders Juventus. Arturo Vidal replied, though, and Quagliarella beat the offside trap with ten minutes remaining to rescue a point. In Group E’s other game, FC Shakhtar Donetsk saw off newcomers FC Nordsjælland with in-form Henrik Mkhitaryan scoring twice.

Barcelona were 2-1 down halfway through the second half at home to Spartak, but Messi turned the game on its head with two goals to give Tito Vilanova victory on his European debut as coach. That assures the four-time winners of the early advantage in Group G after fellow former European champions Celtic FC and SL Benfica produced the only goalless draw of the evening.

Although Spartak just fell short, there were two superb away performances from eastern European sides as FC BATE Borisov and CFR 1907 Cluj chalked up impressive victories. BATE triumphed 3-1 at LOSC Lille having strode into a three-goal half-time lead, while CFR delivered a clinical counterattacking display to overcome SC Braga. Rafael Bastos struck both goals and heads the early top scorers’ list alongside Messi, Mkhitaryan, Oscar and Málaga CF forward Isco.

Elsewhere, 2011/12 runners-up FC Bayern München began their campaign on home soil in happier fashion than they had ended the last one at the same venue, defeating Valencia CF 2-1. Nani missed a penalty but Manchester United FC still held off Galatasaray AŞ to win 1-0 through Michael Carrick’s early strike.






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