Barca ease to Lyon win
2006 champions off to winning start
By Andrew Scurr. Last Updated: 19/09/07 10:56pm
Ronaldinho: Holds off defender
Barcelona began with a resounding 3-0 win over Lyon in the UEFA Champions League.
Lionel Messi was the star for Barca as he created the opener, which was put into his own goal by Francois Clerc, before scoring a deserved goal in the second-half.
Thierry Henry then registered his first goal for Barcelona in stoppage time as the 2006 champions got their Group E campaign off to the ideal start.
Deco worked Remy Vercoutre for the first time when he picked up the ball on the edge of the area and fired a quick shot, before Ronaldinho's goal-bound effort was deflected off-target.
The lively Messi created the opening goal on 21 minutes. The young Argentinean jinked his way into the Lyon area following a short corner and his dangerous ball across goal was diverted past his own goalkeeper by Clerc.
Kim Kallstrom saw a shot brilliantly blocked by Gianluca Zambrotta while Juninho wasted a well-positioned free-kick, but for the most-part Lyon were on the back foot in the first-half.
Messi should have got the goal he deserved before the break as he won possession in midfield to set up a quick passing move involving Deco, Henry and Ronaldinho.
Ronaldinho spotted Messi's run into space in the box and found him perfectly, but after bringing the ball down beautifully and beating Vercoutre with his low strike, the 20-year-old was denied by Clerc on the line.
Soon after the restart Messi missed a glorious chance when fed in by Deco as he skewed an attempt well over the bar.
Sidney Govou was guilty of a worse attempt with Lyon's best chance as Nadir Belhadj's cross was perfect for the striker but he sent his header sailing high over Victor Valdes' goal.
Vercoutre kept Lyon in the game with good saves from Henry and Deco twice, but the goalkeeper was unable to deny Messi his goal in the 82nd minute.
Barca's young talent
Deco and substitute Andres Iniesta linked up on the edge of the Lyon area and the latter laid the ball on a plate for Messi who slotted a first-time shot into the bottom corner.
Messi was replaced with two minutes remaining and Champions League history was made as 17-year-old Bojan Krkic became the competition's youngest ever player.
It was another youngster, Giovani dos Santos, who set up Henry's goal in stoppage time as his initial shot was saved and the former Arsenal man made no mistake with the follow-up.
|1||1st Half Goals||0|
|8||Shots on Target||0|
|3||Shots off Target||2|
UEFA Champions League
Wed 19th Sep - Group F
Roma2 - 0Dynamo Kiev
Sporting0 - 1Man Utd
Wed 19th Sep - Group E
Barcelona3 - 0Lyon
Rangers2 - 1Stuttgart
Wed 19th Sep - Group H
Arsenal3 - 0Sevilla
Slavia Prague2 - 1S Bucuresti
Wed 19th Sep - Group G
PSV2 - 1CSKA Mosc
Fenerbahce1 - 0Inter
UEFA Champions League Group A
UEFA Champions League Group B
UEFA Champions League Group C
|1||Paris St Germain||6||13|
UEFA Champions League Group D
|3||FC Viktoria Plzen||6||3|
UEFA Champions League Group E
|4||FC Steaua Bucuresti||6||3|
UEFA Champions League Group F
UEFA Champions League Group G
|2||Zenit St. Petersburg||6||6|
UEFA Champions League Group H