Messi puts Barça top of group (2-0)
FC Barcelona have beaten Copenhagen 2-0 and thus leap to the top of Champions League Group D. Messi scored a goal in each half.
Barcelona (FCB).- There are no easy games in the Champions League, and the Camp Nou bore witness to that tonight. FC Barcelona were all over their Danish visitors, and hit the back of the net no fewer than four times in the first half, but three of those goals were rightly disallowed by the linesman. The only one that stood was that scored by Messi, as effective as ever on the European stage. But things were less impressive in the second half, when Barça once again struggled to sentence the game until the Argentinian grabbed his second in injury time.
The 2-0 win puts Barça top of the group, where they replace Copenhagen. In two weeks time, the teams meet again in the Danish capital.
Messi missile to open
With a Barça starting midfield featuring Mascherano, Busquets and Maxwell, many might have predicted a lack of creativity, but that proved anything but the case. The ball was played around with all the right intent, and it was Villa who first took advantage of such possession with a strike onto the crossbar. Leo Messi was the man to finally broke the deadlock with a storming left-footed drive that powered into the net \u2013 reminiscent of his goal against Mallorca or the one against Arsenal last season.
Wiland to the rescue
A magnificent Iniesta was proving a nightmare for the Danes, and Barça could have had the game done and dusted had their next three \u2018goals\u2019, despite being brilliant, not all been scored from offside positions. The other reason for Barcelona\u2019s lack of goalscoring was visiting keeper Wiland, who produced excellent saves to deny Villa, Maxwell and Alves.
There was a change of pattern after the break. FC Copenhagen moved their pieces forward, while FC Barcelona seemed to be running out of ideas. There was a sense that the Danish confidence was growing, and an N\u2019Doye strike onto Pinto\u2019s bar almost silenced the Camp Nou. At the other end, Villa was once again thwarted by Wiland, but with Barça hanging onto a slender lead, there was a growing concern that the visitors might just sneak a late equaliser.
Mascherano was really shining for the Catalans tonight, and put in some providential tackles. Guardiola sent Xavi on to operate beside him, and also opted for Pedro in search of the elusive second goal. That looked to have come in the 88th minute, but Alves\u2019 effort rebounded back off the bar. The game was not put out of Danish reach until we were already into time added on for stoppages, when Messi tapped in from close range following an Abidal assist. Copenhagen are to be commended on a terrific performance, but ultimately Barça were too hot for them to handle.