Article by Audrey Nolan
Barcelona sealed their ticket to the Champions League quarterfinals after they defeated Stuttgart 4-0. The match on Wednesday, the second leg of the third round of the tournament, brought Barca’s aggregate score to 5-1.
In the first leg, the German team looked much superior, sealing a tie at home. But coming to Camp Nou was a surprise for the Stuttgart team; Barcelona seemed reloaded and ready to prove themselves the favorites to win one of the most important tournaments in Europe.
Barca has always been one of the favorite teams to win the Champions League title, but their lack of consistency this season began to bring doubts. Now, however, they look to be back on track.
Of course, Lionel Messi was the star of the game, showing yet again a solid football performance full of conviction. He may have been riding a wave of euphoria after his great performance in last week’s game against Valencia, during which he scored all 3 goals. Messi is on fire, appearing unbeatable for most other football players. He made the difference in the game, giving Barca the confidence the team needed to seal the victory at home.
Messi started the game with the first goal scored at minute 13; he contributed to the second goal with a pass to Pedro, who did not hesitate and made a shot that ended up into the Stuttgart’s net at minute 22.
Barcelona had some other opportunities to score but did not complete; nevertheless, they went to the halftime break with an aggregate score of 3-1. Stuttgart had tried in the first half, but come up short. Barcelona, with an offense head by a near-magical Messi, hardly had to do any work defensively as the Germans didn’t have many opportunities.
As the second half began, Barca came out strong with Yaya Toure and Lionel Messi; Toure had an opportunity just 10 minutes after the second half began with a low shot that went too wide.
Messi then received a pass from Dani Alves coming from a play that was started by Pedro; the Argentine spun Timo Gebhart and drilled another left-footed shot past Lehmann from 20 yards out to convert the third goal of the game at minute 60. Messi had two more chances to score but they were both denied by goalkeeper Jens Lehmann.
The last goal came at minute 89 with a pass from Ibrahimovic to Bojan that was able to convert with a slow shot from outside the area.
As Barcelona sealed their spot in the quarterfinals as the only Spanish team in the final eight, Carles Puyols promised even better in the future.
“We’ve got some of our old sensations back and we feel the best is yet to come,” the Barcelona captain said. “I’m really happy because tonight we played well; we’ve got a great squad here. We’re fighting for very important titles on two fronts now.”
The draw for the Champions League quarterfinals takes place on Friday, with the final eight teams starting with Manchester United, Arsenal, Inter Milan, Bayern Munich, Lyon, Bordeaux and CSKA Moscow along with Barcelona.
The first leg of the quarterfinal will begin on March 30 and 31st; the second on April 6th and 7th. The final this year will be held at Real Madrid’s Bernabeu Stadium.
About the Author
Audrey Nolan is a top senior copy writer for the UEFA Soccer Games games as well as thesports betting industry updates for many exceptional sports web sites. You may reprint this article in its full content, please note no modifications to it are accepted.