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Unseen images of Barça's Champions League win that sees them through to the last 16 of the competition
The impressive display against the Italians produced yet another series of amazing statistics, and this is the pick of the bunch
FC Barcelona’s stunning form continues. Against AS Roma on Tuesday night, they sealed passage into the last sixteen on the Champions League as winners of Group E. The six-goal rout of the Serie A side was yet another masterful performance from the team, and here we pick out some of the key stats from the game:
- Six goals on Tuesday, to add to twelve in the four previous fixtures against Real Madrid, Villarreal, BATE and Getafe. That’s eighteen goals in five matches –an impressive return that shows that the team is getting things spot-on at the moment.
- Dzeko scored for the Italians in the final minute of the match – the first time the ball had landed in the Barça net since Borja Bastón found the target in the 9th minute of the Eibar game – no less than 621 minutes of football earlier.
- Sergio Busquets made his 350th appearance in a Barça shirt. He was only for 45 minutes, but that was enough for him to make 70 passes, 67 of which were completed, equating to a massive 96% success rate. He also won the ball seven times.
- This was the ninth time in a row that Barcelona have qualified for the last sixteen of the Champions League as group winners and a record seventeenth time in total since the new format was introduced.
- Luis Suárez’s great form continues. The Uruguayan’s brace last night means he has five goals in five outings in the Champions League, making him joint top scorer along with Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich), Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Artem Dzyuba (Zenit) and Thomas Müller (Bayern Munich).
- Leo Messi’s return to the starting eleven couldn’t have been better. He scored twice, and the first set a new record in this season’s Champions League by being preceded by a massive string of 27 passes in little more than a minute – and a goal to compare with the first in Saturday’s Clásico, with every one of the outfield players touching the ball.
The Uruguayan striker, who scored two goals against AS Roma, emphasises that the trident works 'for the good of the team'
FC Barcelona striker Luis Suárez scored twice on Tuesday night and wreaked havoc on AS Roma for all 90 minutes of the Catalans' 6–1 rout of the Romans in Group E play of the UEFA Champions League. Suárez spoke to reporters after the game. Here are the highlights of what he had to say:
“We know that every player has to fulfil their expectations.”
“We played a perfect game, very complete, and we didn’t leave any space in midfield. In the first half we put the game away.”
"Neymar, Messi and I are here for the good of the team, for the good of Barça. We don’t think individually.”
“The people were waiting for Messi to return and we’re all happy that he scored.”
"With Neymar and Suárez we get on really well. We know we have a responsibility but we also want to have a good time."
"I was really excited to have that feeling of coming back and playing again. I enjoyed watching the team, but playing is better."
"The feeling that I have is that we're enjoying ourselves out there on the field."
"We're enjoying working on a daily basis, and that's the most important thing."
"The end of the seaon is a long way away."
"We're very happy but we know there will be games where perhaps we need to do a little bit more."
"I was looking forward to getting out there and playing 45 minutes."
"We're working hard and the attackers and defenders are defending as a unit."
"I think we're in great form at the moment."
Online reactions from the players following the 6–1 rout over AS Roma
The FC Barcelona head coach spoke to the media on the Camp Nou pitch shortly after the game ended and touched on several topics
Luis Enrique’s team had an easy time tonight, routing AS Roma by a score of 6–1. Nevertheless, the head coach sees room for improvement. Here’s what he said just minutes after the final whistle:
On the big picture:
“When you see your players have fun out on the pitch, you’re happy.”
“We take every game with the seriousness and necessity to know that in the most important stretch of the season it will be important to create this kind of pressure to get good results.”
“Surely we can improve a lot of things. In a sport as complex as football, there’s always room for improvement. We’re at a good moment and we have to take maximum advantage.”
On the hunger:
“I see the fans enjoying the team. I see the players really wanting to participate and I see the faces of those who can’t participate and they really want to.”
On his players:
“These players are very smart and we know perfectly that we are in the first third [of the season] and the best part is still to come.”
Goals from Messi and Suárez, the sure-handed Ter Stegen, the role of Luis Enrique and the fans were all keys to the big win
The Uruguayan has scored 17 goals in 19 official games this season. But Suárez doesn’t just score; he also works tirelessly to help his teammates, like on Messi's first goal. He also comes up with steals, like he did in the first half with Dzeko, in what was a very typical play.
The Argentine returned at the Bernabéu on Saturday and against Roma he was a starter. He was very active and dynamic from kick off, and his first goal in the 18th minute was a masterpiece. In the second half he completed his performance with a second goal that made his return to the Camp Nou perfect.
Although he couldn’t do anything on Roma’s late goal, Ter Stegen again demonstrated his skill in net. The German goalkeeper stopped a penalty on Dzeko much like he did last season against Manchester City’s Agüero in the Champions League. With Ter Stegen, Bravo and Masip in goal, Barça are well covered.
The coach made some changes to the starting lineup and had success. The team is growing and have outscored their last two opponents10–1. The fans at Camp Nou recognized Luis Enrique’s efforts by chanting his name in the second half.
The 71,433 spectators
Despite the cold and the strict security measures prior to the match, the fans wanted to be with his team. And those who decided to go to the stadium and overcome all the obstacles were rewarded by another fine show. The rout puts Barça into the last 16 as Group E winner.
The Catalans have featured in the knockout stage of every edition of the Champions League since 2004/05
The scenario this evening was that FC Barcelona needed a single point from the game with AS Roma to ensure qualification for the second round of the Champions League, and moreover as group leaders. But they ended up making it into the last sixteen before a ball had been kicked after BATE Borisov and Bayer Leverkusen drew 1-1 in the other game in the group, which kicked off in Belarus three hours earlier.
Gordeichuk put the home side ahead after just two minutes, but Mehmedi pulled level for the Germans with 22 minutes to go, and the draw means that Leverkusen have lost all mathematical hope of catching Barça.
The result also means that should they win at the Camp Nou tonight, AS Roma will join Barça in the next round – any other result and it will all go down to the final day, when Bayer host Barcelona and Roma host BATE Borisov.
Barça have been ever-presents in the Champions League round of 16 since the 2004/05 season. The year before they weren’t involved in the competition, and played in what was then still known as the UEFA Cup.
In those twelve seasons, the Catalans have gone on to win the European title four times (Paris, Rome, Wembley and Berlin), while in the same period no other club has won it more than once. The teams clubs to have lifted the trophy are Liverpool, AC Milan, Manchester United, Inter Milan, Chelsea, Bayern and Real Madrid.
Before the Catalans and Italians were drawn together in the 2001/02 Champions League, their only previous encounters had come in a curious preseason tournament in Venezuela half a century earlier
FC Barcelona’s first ever meetings with tonight’s Champions League opponent, AS Roma, were in the unusual setting of Caracas, way back in 1953. In fact, it would be the only time the teams had ever played until they faced each other in the group stages of the 2001/02 Champions League.
Played in the Venezuelan capital, the event was marketed locally as the Little World Cup, although the Catalan press seemed to take offence at the rather preposterous billing of what was, for Barça, little more than a summer tour, which also doubled as a motive to make arrangements for the ultimately controversial transfer of Alfredo di Stefano.
It featured FC Barcelona as the holders of the Latin Cup, South American champions Corinthians of Brazil, a Caracas XI (effectively the Venezuelan national side and coached by former FC keeper Ricardo Zamora) and AS Roma, although it is not entirely clear on what basis the Italians, who had finished sixth in Serie A, had 'qualified' for the event.
Managed by the Slovakian Ferdinand Daučík, Barça went into the tournament with an air of confidence. Although seven members of the squad had met up with the party after a pair of gruelling internationals for Spain in Argentina and Chile, the Caracas XI weren’t expected to present too many difficulties. But Barça lost that game 3-2, and then went down by the same score to the Brazilians.
July 23 brought the first meeting between Barça and Roma, and in front of 25,000 people, Barcelona won 1-0, the goal scored after 42 minutes when Moreno headed home a fine cross from Kubala.
However, this was a marathon tournament, and after playing each other once, all four teams then had to face off another time. The second round began with an unsightly match between Barça and Corinthians, with the game suspended for fifteen minutes as the two sides exchanged blows following a particularly nasty tackle on Kubala and the Barça players furious at what they felt was an absurdly biased match referee. It ended 1-0 to the Brazilians, who thus kept their 100 per cent record and had already secured the trophy with several matches yet to play.
Second meeting, 4-2 defeat
On July 29, Barça met the AS Roma for the second time. Buoyed by huge numbers of Venezuelans that had adopted Barça as their favourite team, Aloy and Basora scored two fine goals to put the Catalans into an impressive 2-0 lead at half time. But everything went wrong in the second half, and Kubala in particular came in for heavy stick in the press for an uncharacteristically sloppy performance. Panisotto and Gandolfini scored two each to undo all of Barça’s good work in the first half, and it ended 4-2 to the Italians.
Two days later, Barça ended their participation in the tournament with a 3-2 defeat of the Caracas XI to finish in third place behind Roma, second, and the undefeated Corinthians, champions.
Luis Enrique includes the reserve team's Samper in a selection that is missing the injured Mascherano, while Sandro and Masip are also left out
Luis Enrique has announced the list of eighteen players for Tuesday’s Champions League game with AS Roma at the Camp Nou at 8.45pm CET. The Barcelona manager is missing the injured Rafinha, who has just signed a new contract, and Douglas, while Mascherano hurt his thigh at the Santiago Bernabéu and has been added to the list of casualties. Sandro Ramírez and Jordi Masip have also been left out for this one.
The biggest change is the inclusion of Barça B’s Sergi Samper in a full squad that reads as as follows: Ter Stegen, Bravo, Piqué, Rakitic, Sergio, Alves, Iniesta, Suárez, Messi, Neymar, Bartra, Munir, Jordi Alba, Sergi Roberto, Adriano, Vermaelen, Mathieu and Samper.
'We will have to be organised well defensively like in the first game to have a chance against Barça," says coach Rudi Garcia
AS Roma arrive in Barcelona in need of all three points if they want to rely on themselves to secure a place in the last 16 of this season’s Champions League. Anything other than a victory would be a step in the wrong direction for the Italians and they will have one eye firmly fixed on the game between BATE Borisov and Bayer 04 Leverkusen which kicks off at 6.00pm CET. Group E is tight with Roma second on 5 points, Bayer on 4 poins and BATE Borisov on 3 points. For Tuesday’s game at Camp Nou, AS Roma coach Rudi Garcia will be without the injured Gervinho, Mohamed Salah and Francesco Totti. Furthermore, the Frenchman also revealed in his press conference on Monday at Camp Nou that midfielder Daniele De Rossi is also a doubt and will have a fitness test before the game.
Despite the players missing, Rudi Garcia is convinced his side will be competitive against Barça: “We know that they will have the ball but we have to be organised as in the first game. We have always thought if we only defend then we will surely lose. We have to all our chances,” he added.
Barça and Roma come into the game in differing form. The Italians drew their last game in Serie A 2-2 against Bologna on Saturday and they currently sit in fourth place in the table. The blaugranes are top of the league in Spain and face the team from the capital on the back of their brilliant 4-0 win against Real Madrid in the Bernabéu. That performance did not escape the attention of the Roma coach: “Barça are a great side, they are technical and they have excellent players, they are the best in the world,” he concluded.
The new position of advertising hoardings around the pitch, known as the television 'U', allows fans in the first few rows of the stands to have a better view of the action
FC Barcelona have carried out structural improvements in different parts of the stadium to allow better visibility and security for members and fans on Champions League days. Spectators, especially members with season tickets, were able to see the modifications first hand on the day of the game with BATE Borisov and there will be more for the game on Tuesday against AS Roma.
The objective has been to try and resolve some of the long standing complaints that the Social Area and the Members’ Ombudsman receive from members placed in the first few rows of the ground affected by the placing of the televisual ‘U’ and also those with seats close to the zone where the away fans are situated.
To deal with the first problem, the Club has changed the position of the advertising hoardings that surround the pitch. The change has taken place after talks with UEFA to try and find the best solution for the members whilst at the same time complying with the organising body’s regulations regarding advertising.
As such, the televisual ‘U’ has been moved by up to two metres towards the stands in some cases. That allows spectators in the first few rows to enjoy a better line of sight, especially when the action takes place in the penalty area.
With this improvement, the Club still fulfils UEFA’s regulations which establish a series of parameters that must be complied with regards to the television ‘U’. Even though UEFA recommend that the ‘U’ is seen framed with the goalposts, giving the advertisers more visibility, the European governing body gave permission in the last few months for FC Barcelona to find the best solution to the problem. During this season’s Joan Gamper Trophy game the Club carried out a series of tests that were supervised by a team of UEFA representatives.
The changes to the advertising hoardings have also necessitated that the poles supporting the tension in the nets of the goals. That has allowed the television camera to have a better view of the game without any interfering elements.
New separating wall with the rival fans
One of the other measures taken by the Club to improve spectators comfort on Champions League match days affects the area where away fans are situated in the third tier of seating at Camp Nou. The season ticket holders next to this area under the visiting fans have often experienced various problems such as the launching of objects.
It is for that reason that various improvements, such as the replacing of the metal grill that separates the two areas with a transparent polycarbonate wall 2 metres high and 8 millimetres thick. That will help to avoid a great many of the problems that have been an inconvenience to home fans and will allow fans to have improved visibility without the metal grill.
In the next few months a front wall of polycarbonate will be installed as well.
Rudi Garcia’s side miss chance to go top of Serie A after 2-2 draw with Bologna while Bayer Leverkusen defeat Eintracht Frankfurt 3-1 away from home
FC Barcelona’s upcoming Champions League opponent AS Roma could only manage a 2-2 draw with Bologna on Saturday while Bayer Leverkusen, defeated Eintracht Frankfurt 3-1 away from home.
Roma’s failure to collect all three points meant that they missed an opportunity to go top of Serie A. The side from the Italian capital went behind on 13 minutes from a headed goal by Adam Masina. Rudi Garcia’s men then reversed proceedings in the second half thanks to two penalties, first from Miralem Pjanic (51 minutes) and then from fellow Bosnian Edin Dzeko 20 minutes later. But just as it looked as though Roma were headed to the summit of the table, their former player Mattia Destro tucked away a penalty with three minutes.
The Italians, who visit Camp Nou on 24 November for Matchday 5 of the Champions League, remain in second place in their domestic league as a result of that draw.
Bayer Leverkusen had a more enjoyable day as they beat Eintrach Frankfurt 3-1 away. Chicharito profited from a defensive error to give his side the lead on 23 minutes. The Mexican then doubled his tally after a superb assist from Hakan Calhanoglu six minutes before the break.
Modojevic gave the home side hope when he halved the deficit on the stroke of half-time but Calhanoglu’s strike on 72 minutes sealed the win for Leverkusen. The German club host Barça on 9 December in the final match of the group stages.
The Brazilian star has scored 10 goals in his last eight matches for the side and his 11 goals in the league mean he is currently top scorer in La Liga
He controls it with his chest, flicks it over the defender and then volleys it home past the keeper. A wonderful goal from Neymar against Villarreal that has gone around the world, showing just what a perfect moment of form FC Barcelona’s Brazilian finds himself in. He is a leader and he can produce moments of spectacular magic that define his current performances.
Since Leo Messi was injured in the game against Las Palmas, Neymar has stepped up to the plate and the numbers more than beat that out. His goalscoring stats are incredible as he has found the net 10 times in his last eight matches. In the current campaign the Barça striker has scored 13 times in all competitions, 11 in the league and two in the Champions League. In La Liga he currently heads the list of top goalscorers for the season.
Neymar has consistently beaten records this season. The Brazilian has just moved past his compatriot Ronaldinho in the Champions League goalscoring stakes to move into sixth place on the Barça all time list, just two behind Samuel Eto’o. In the league, thanks to the two goals against Villarreal he has equalled Gary Linekar’s record of 42 in La Liga. One of them a spectacular effort that bears more than a passing resemblance to a goal scored by Ronaldinho in the 2004/05 season against Osasuna.
Barça’s Group E opponents this weekend with an important victory for Rudi Garcia’s team and another reverse for the Germans
AS Roma recorded a 2-0 victory on Sunday in the Rome derby against Lazio. A penalty from striker Edin Dzeko after minutes gave Rudi Garcia’s side the advantage in the game played at the Stadio Olimpico. A second from Gervinho just after the hour mark sealed an important win for the giallorossi that leaves them in second place in Serie A, a point behind leaders Internazionale. Roma are Barça’s next opponents in Group E of the Champions League on 24 November at Camp Nou with Luis Enrique’s side needing just a point to secure first place in the group and a place in the last 16.
Home defeat for Leverkusen
Bayer Leverkusen went down to a 2-1 home defeat at the hands of FC Köln in Bundesliga on Saturday. The visitors went ahead through Maroh after 17 minutes but Javier Hernández’s 10th goal in his last 13 matches put Roger Schmidt’s side level before the break. However, another goal from Maroh in the second half consigned Bayer to their third consecutive defeat in all competitions. The German side face FC Barcelona in last round of matches in Group E on 9 December in the BayArena.
BATE end league campaign with a win
BATE Borisov bounced back from defeat in midweek against Barça with a 4-1 victory over Slutsk in the Belarus Premier League. On Sunday two goals from Alexei Rios and one each from Nemenja Nikolic and Aleksandr Karnitsky gave them the win to complete the domestic season that sees BATE crowned league champions for the tenth season in a row. The blaugranes have already completed their games against the Belarusians in Group E, winning 2-0 away from home and 3-0 at Camp Nou last Wednesday in their most recent Champions League encounter.
With two goals against BATE Borisov, the Brazilian moves ahead of his compatriot Ronaldinho in the all-time ranking
With a massive 16 goals in 26 games, Neymar Jr is delivering the goods in the Champions League. He is now Barça’s sixth highest goalscorer ever in the competition after his brace against BATE Borisov on Wednesday edged him above fellow Brazilian Ronaldinho in the ranking. ‘El Gaucho’ got 14 goals in his 35 Champions League games for the club, while Neymar has only needed 26 outings to surpass that tally. His goals against the Belarusians also take him ahead of Pedro Rodríguez and Hristo Stoichkov, who got 15 goals in 61 and 30 matches respectively.
The next target in his sights is Samuel Eto’o. The Cameroonian is fifth in the table with 18 goals, and Neymar only needs a couple more to catch him. After that, he’ll be hot on the trail of his current boss, Luis Enrique, who scored 20 goals in Europe’s’ premier club competition.
The leading pack features Patrick Kluivert (21 goals) and Rivaldo (25), but he’s got a mighty long way still to go if he’s ever going to catch up with his friend and colleague Leo Messi, who is way ahead of the rest of the pack with a humungous 77 goals! But ‘Ney’ he carries on the way he has done this season, then absolutely anything is possible. He’s already found the net eleven times!
More than in the Libertadores
With 16 goals in the Champions League, Neymar has already improved on his record in the South American equivalent, the Copa Libertadores. Playing for Santos, he scored 14 goals in 25 games, and won the title in 2011 when he was still only 19 years old. It was thanks to that victory that he was able to feature in the Club World Cup against Barça later that year.
The striker — who led Barça with a double and assisted Suárez on his goal — appears to be improving with each game that passes
FC Barcelona won 3-0 over BATE Borisov in game 4 of the Champions League group stage on Wednesday night, and the star of the evening was none other than Neymar, author of the team's first and third goals.
"We have to be very calm. We are doing a great job and that is important," he told reporters after the game.
Neymar also acknowledged that he is in a very good form. "Last season was the best in my life, but now I am in a great moment," he said.
Neymar's second goal was assisted by Luis Suárez, who afterwards was thanked by the Brazilian. "I had a good run up the middle, but half the goal is Suárez's."
Here are statements from other players who spoke to the media after the game:
"Mission accomplished. We knew they would cede control and we took advantage."
"We're in a comfortable position. We hope to close out our qualification in our next match."
"The injury Rakitic is unfortunate; hopefully it's as slight as possible. I don't know the extent of the injury."
"We have taken an important step towards qualification."
"We have no explanation for the injuries. We have a lot of physical wear a tear and that's why they happen. But we are not the only ones who suffer them, other teams do too. We are human and it happens."
"Neymar and Luis Suárez have a very good connection. This is great news for us that we can enjoy them."
"We're not setting a date for Messi's return. He doesn't have to push it. He'll be back when he's well."
The club has 840 tickets for members at a price of 15 Euros; those interested can make requests online until Tuesday 10 November
From Monday, 9 November at 10.00am* and until Tuesday 10 November at 7.00pm, Club members can request tickets to go see the Group E Champions League match between Bayer Leverkusen and FC Barcelona, which will be played in Leverkusen, Germany on 9 December at 8.45pm.
The process is exclusive for members. Those interested should make a request online in the Members section of the Club website, www.fcbarcelona.com. Each member may only apply for one ticket, but one application form may be used for up to four requests from members who wish to travel together.
Tickets for 15 Euros
For this game, FC Barcelona will have a total of 1,235 tickets at a price of 15 Euros. As usual, 85% of these tickets will be distributed among members (840) and supporters clubs (209). The remaining tickets will be allocated to the Club's sporting and institutional commitments as well as sponsors.
All applications will be reviewed after the deadline. If there are more requests than tickets available, there will be a draw on Wednesday, 11 November before a registered notary. Then, on 11 and 12 November, the Club will contact the winners to charge for the tickets and notify them of the instructions for collecting them.
Remember that member children under 6 years of age cannot apply for tickets to attend away games. In addition, one credit card can only be used to request a maximum of eight tickets. Tickets must be collected in person by the members who will use them. If you cannot collect them you must communicate the name of the person, along with his/her ID, who is authorised to collect the tickets instead. This person may only pick up a maximum of eight tickets for other people.
Fly to Leverkusen for 225 Euros
FC Barcelona, through FCBViatges, offers its members the chance to travel by plane. There is the option of day flight, departing on 9 December and returning once the match against Bayer Leverkusen finishes. Prices are 225 Euros for members, 280 Euros for supporters clubs and 335 Euros for all other fans (not including ticket). Tickets are limited and there must be 175 people to ensure the charter flight. Reservation deadline is 20 November at 12.00pm.
There is also an option to travel on the first team plane, departing on 8 December and returning after the game, including accommodation. The price for members is 395 Euros, 526 Euros for supporters clubs and 658 euros for all other fans (not including ticket).
For more information please contact email@example.com, call 93 521 55 19 or visit any branch of Halcón Viajes or Viajes Ecuador.
*All times Central European Time
The head coach said his team's injuries have been unfortunate, and that it's important to get players back when they're ready
Luis Enrique had to have been satisfied. His team not only showed more signs of improvement in Wednesday’s 3–0 victory over BATE Borisov at Camp Nou, but they excelled in practically every area of the game, on both ends of the pitch, two things that the head coach has been preaching recently.
His message has constantly focused on tying down loose ends and eliminating the little mistakes that have kept the team from racking up the goals, as well as the clean sheets. Tonight he got both.
Here are the highlights of what Luis Enrique had to say on a variety of topics.
On his general feeling about the victory:
"I'm happy with what I saw. We had good intensity and we created danger."
On the latest injury:
"We try to take care of them, but it's hard. Today it was Rakitic."
“We don’t know the reason, but for players who play with national teams and club teams, they have a lot of minutes, and we’re not having a lot of luck there.”
“The objective is not to have certain players back to play, it’s to have the player recuperate well.”
On Munir and Sandro not starting:
“I think it’s important for them to get minutes without having to deal with all the pressure.”
On Messi-dependence not being mentioned as of late:
“The results are on our side, and we’re playing well.”
On the good defence:
“Defending as a unit is effective.”
“These results reinforce our defensive work, as well as that of the whole team.”
On Sergio Busquets:
"Sergio played a perfect game, you can't do it any better. He's spectacular.”
The Barça head coach hopes his team stay atop Group E and says that managing the minutes played is key for the final stretch of the season
Luis Enrique appeared in the press room at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper prior to Wednesday's Champions League match against BATE Borisov at Camp Nou. Here are the highlights of what he had to say ahead of his team's fourth game in Group E:
On the objective:
"The goal is to qualify, and do it as first in the group. The groups are competitive, and anything can happen. But as the defending champions we must send a message that we are ready."
"We want to win to stay leaders."
On Barça leading Group E with seven points:
"This explains the team's good play."
"I am more than happy with the position we're in."
On being one victory away from virtually qualifying for the knockout stages:
"We want to continue improving those aspects of our game that we did well in Belarus."
On Thomas Vermaelen and his recovery:
"It's good news...He is a player with confidence and he helps us for sure."
On Sergi Roberto, and his chance to play for Spain in the Euro 2016:
"He's giving us a lot."
"I think he's ready for the challenge."
On managing the minutes of his players:
"Before every game I think about what would be the best eleven to win that game."
"Last year's results showed that our management of the load was right...this season it will be key."
"Titles are played for in the final months of the season and we need to have the players fresh."
The defender says he's past his injuries and is motivated for his first appearance in the Champions League for Barça
Thomas Vermaelen is ready. He says he has put his injuries behind him entirely and is now focused purely on football. Against BATE Borisov, the Belgian defender could have the opportunity to officially debut in the Champions League with FC Barcelona. And he isn't scared.
"If I play tomorrow it will be a very special game. Of course it was disappointing for me when I was injured while in good form, but now I feel good and I'm not afraid of injuring myself again."
Here are the highlights of what Vermaelen had to say at his press conference on Tuesday:
On being one of many defenders on the team:
"It's true that there are many centre-backs, but there are many games. We need the whole squad to face the season. And, regardless of our personal characteristics, we all want the same thing and we try to play the same way."
On goals conceded this season compared with last season:
"The defence is made up of the whole team and, although it is true that in a couple of games we did not do things as well, we're working hard in training and that has helped us improve in recent games."
"He is an example and is showing how decisive he is with his goals."
"He's playing very well this season. Fortunately, we have players who can make a difference and who are very good. And Neymar is one of them."
On the goalkeepers Ter Stegen and Claudio Bravo:
"Both are world-class goalkeepers and both deserve to play."
Team finalises preparations prior to Wednesday's Champions League Group E match at Camp Nou
On Tuesday morning FC Barcelona completed their final training session before Wedensday's Champions League match versus BATE Borisov at Camp Nou. Luis Enrique led the workout on Tito Vilanova Field at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper. The training session was open to the media for the first 15 minutes.
All available first team players plus Barça B midfielder Gerard Gumbau took part. Wednesday's match will be played at 8.45pm CET. It is Barça's fourth group stage match as they seek qualification for the knockout stages of the Champions League. The Catalans currently lead Group E with seven points from two wins and a draw.
The team from Belarus has former blaugrana amongst their ranks and the squad trains at the stadium where they will face Barça on Wednesday
“We are up against the best team in the world” admits coach Aleksandr Yermakovich in his press conference
Bate Borisov are now in Barcelona. Barça’s rivals in Match Day 4 of this season’s Champions League group stages landed in the city on Tuesday and then trained at Camp Nou for the final time ahead of their game against Luis Enrique’s team on Wednesday at 8.45pm CET.
The squad coached Aleksandr Yermakovich went through their paces with former Barça player Alexander Hleb the main attraction. The midfielder has been out through injury but his coach admitted before the press prior to training that there is a good chance he will be fit enough to face his former club. The Belarusians came out on to the pitch at Camp Nou at around 6.30pm CET in a training session that was open to the press for the opening 15 minutes.
In his press conference in the Ricard Maxenchs press room at Camp Nou, Yermakovich gave his thoughts ahead of the clash with the Catalans in Group E. The BATE boss admitted that his team where “aware that we are coming up against the best club in the world, because they have top players and they all have quality.” Despite “knowing the potential of Barça,” the coach said his team “are prepared and it will be a good test of where we are at.”
Our global TV guide with local kick off times for match four in Group E that kicks off at 8.45pm CET
FC Barcelona host BATE Borisov at Camp Nou on Wednesday 4 November at 8.45pm CET in both teams' fourth game in Group E of the 2015/16 UEFA Champions League. Barça will look to stay undefeated in this year's tournament (2 wins and 1 draw) and cement their status as leaders. The match will be on TV in a wide variety of countries on many different channels. But if it’s not being shown where you are, fear not, for you can always listen to live English language commentary on Radio Barça — there will be a link to it on the homepage just before kick off. You can also follow minute to minute coverage in English via Twitter by following @fcbarcelona.
Wednesday, 4 november
Canada – Vancouver (11:45 AM) / Toronto (2:45 PM)
beIN Sports Canada, beIN SPORTS CONNECT Canada
United States – Los Angeles (11:45 AM) / New York (2:45 PM)
Fox Sports GO, Fox Sports 2 USA, Fox Soccer 2GO USA
Latin America – Mexico City (1:45 PM) / Bogota (2:45 PM) / Santiago (4:45 PM) / Buenos Aires (4:45 PM)
FOX Play Latin America, FOX Sports Cono Sur, Fox Sports Cono Sur, Fox Sports Chile, Fox Sports Uruguay, RTS Ecuador
Brazil – Brasilia (5:45 PM)
United Kingdom – London (7:45 PM)
BT Sport Live Streaming
France – Paris (8:45 PM)
beIN Sports 3, beIN SPORTS CONNECT F.R.
Barcelona (8:45 PM)
Italy – Rome (8:45 PM)
Premium Calcio 1
Africa – Dakar (7:45 PM) / Yaoundé (8:45 PM) / Cape Town (9:45 PM)
SuperSport 5 Nigeria, SLGO, SuperSport 5 Africa, SuperSport Select, Maximo 360
Turkey – Istanbul (9:45 PM)
Rusia – Moscow (10:45 PM)
NTV+ Sport Online, NTV+ Football 2
Middle East – Doha (10:45 PM)
beIN Sports Arabia 12 HD, beIN SPORTS CONNECT Arabia, beIN Sports Arabia 3 HD
Thursday, 5 november
India – New Delhi (1:15 AM)
Indonesia – Jakarta (2:45 AM)
Orange TV Indonesia
China – Beijing (3:45 AM)
FC Barcelona: www.fcbarcelona.cn
PPTV Sport China, CNTV Sports, LeTV, QQ Sports Live, Sina Sports
Japan – Tokyo (4:45 AM)
SKY PerfecTV LIVE, Sukachan 1
Australia – Sydney (6:45 AM)
beIN Sports Connect Australia
*Source:Live Soccer TV
FC Barcelona first team trains at the Ciutat Esportiva with an eye on Wednesday's visit of BATE Borisov
After taking Sunday off following the win at Getafe, the FC Barcelona first team was back at work on a blustery, drizzly Monday morning at the Ciutat Esportiva, with manager Luis Enrique’s attention now switching to Wednesday’s visit of BATE Borisov for the fourth game in Champions League Group E.
Gerard Gumbau, Joan Campins, David Babunski, Aitor Cantalapiedra and Sergi Palencia, all of Barça B, also joined the session, as did Paik of the U19 squad.
The team has just one more training session, on Tuesday morning, before the 8.45pm CET kick-off the following day at the Camp Nou.
This Halloween, we remember the nights that went frighteningly wrong for Barça. Only the very bravest of fans will be able to make it to the end of this page… Read on, if you dare!
In recent seasons it would seem that nothing has ever gone wrong at Barça. It’s just been one constant flow of great goals, amazing victories and wonderful title celebrations. But it hasn’t always been a bed of roses, and for Halloween we take a ride on the ghost train into the past and remember some of the nastier memories that still haunt the minds of Barça fans. Eight nights of horror when things went very, very wrong...
Littbarski casts his spell
05/11/1980 (UEFA Cup): Barça 0-4 FC Cologne
This was not one of Barça’s most glorious periods. They were in the middle of a ten-year spell without winning La Liga, but after winning 1-0 in Germany, a place in the last sixteen of the UEFA Cup seemed secure enough. It was scoreless at the Camp Nou after 40 minutes when a 20-year-old Pierre Littbarski came on as substitute for Cologne. The future international star played a blinder, scoring one and laying on two assists and manager Rinus Michels was able to celebrate a famous victory against his former club.
Metz rise from the dead
03/10/1984 (Cup Winners’ Cup): Barça 1-4 Metz
Terry Venables’ Barça already looked to have this sewn up with a 4-2 win away to the French minnows. The Metz defence had been so poor in the first leg that Bernd Schuster had even joked that when they came to Barcelona, he’d give them some Catalan ham in return for their many gifts. The Metz players wanted revenge but nobody was taking them seriously and only two reporters even bothered to travel south of the border to cover the match. The Camp Nou was more than half empty and when Carrasco put Barça 1-0 up on the night, and 5-2 on aggregate, it was game over. Only it wasn’t. In probably the most improbable comeback that the Camp Nou has ever seen, Tony Kurbos scored twice and José Vicente Sánchez put the ball in his own net to make it 3-1 to Metz. Barça were still safe on away goals until, with just five minutes to go, Kurbos completed his hat-trick and the French were through. The final whistle blew and goalkeeper Michel Ettorre made straight for Schuster and yelled “where’s your ham now?” He later explained that “I don't think he speaks French, but he understood me all right.”
07/05/1986 (European Cup): Barça 0-0 Steaua Bucharest
Barça were still awaiting their first European crown, but in May 1986 their chance had finally come. Terry Venables had a wonderful team starring the likes of Migueli, Alesanco, Víctor, Schuster, Archibald and Carrasco and with the final being held at the Sánchez Pizjuan in Seville, they were practically playing at home. And all they had to do was beat a team of virtual unknowns from Romania. But it’s never wise to celebrate a victory before it’s won. For 120 painfully dull minutes, Barça could find no way past the rock-solid Steaua defence and it all went down to penalties. Even the shootout failed to produce goals, the Romanians eventually winning it 2-0 and celebrating in front of less than 1,000 travelling supporters. For Barça, the first European Cup would have to wait.
04/11/1992 (Champions League): Barça 1-3 CSKA Moscow
In 1992, Barça finally won the European crown for the first time, but their title defence was a total fracas. After clawing past Viking of Norway 1-0 on aggregate to qualify for the group stage they only needed to beat CSKA Moscow, a club in crisis following the break-up of the Soviet Union. After the first leg in Russia ended 1-1, Nadal and Begiristain got Barça off to an early 2-0 lead at the Camp Nou, and they seemed home and dry. With no away supporters to cheer them on, and with the game not even televised in their home country because no broadcaster could afford to pay for the signal, the Russians now needed to score three against Johan Cruyff’s mighty ‘Dream Team’. And they did.
18/05/1994 (Champions League): Barça 0-4 AC Milan
European football in the mid-nineties was about two teams. Johan Cruyff and his all-conquering Dream Team and Fabio Capello’s AC Milan, who put together a 58 match unbeaten run in Serie A. When the two were due to meet in Europe’s showpiece final in Athens, both clubs billed this as their chance to seal their claim to being the best of the era. Somebody was going to end up with egg on their face. Milan were missing key defenders, so Barça fans were confident enough, but the Italians shunned their famous catenaccio approach and went for all-out attack. In a flash, Daniele Massaro had scored twice, and Dejan Savićević had chipped in a third before half-time. Marcel Desailly finished off the job after the break. Barcelona never got a look in.
Spooked by Shevchenko
05/11/1997 Barça 0-4 Dinamo Kiev
Of all the seasons in which the Champions League has been played in group format, the 1997/98 season was by far the worst for Barça. Under Louis Van Gaal, the team was dominating La Liga but Europe was another story, and after defeats to Newcastle and Kiev and a draw with PSV, Barça were bottom of their group. There was still time to turn things around, but not after this game. Rarely have Barça been played so completely off the park at the Camp Nou that the home fans had no option but to applaud their visitors when it was over. Dinamo Kiev were simply spectacular and the world was introduced to two brand new stars: Serhiy Rebrov and hat-trick hero Andriy Shevchenko.
Horror at the Coliseum
10/05/2007 (Copa del Rey): Getafe 4-0 Barça
Barcelona’s spectacular 5-2 defeat of Getafe in the 2007 Copa del Rey semi-final was a masterclass from Frank Rijkaard’s team, and Leo Messi’s goal, almost identical to the one that fellow Argentinian Diego Maradona had scored against England in 1986, is still heralded as one of the best of his career. Barça looked so comfortably assured of a place in the final that a lot of fans didn’t even bother to watch the second leg on TV and found themselves walking out of cinemas and restaurants to the learn the shocking news that somehow or other, they had undone all the good work at the Camp Nou by losing 4-0.
Monster defeat in Munich
23/04/2013 (Champions League): Bayern Munich 4-0 Barça
Tito Vilanova’s Barça team, which won La Liga with 100 points, very rarely lost. To be on the end of an absolute pasting? Unthinkable. But even the best teams in the world have their bad days, and for Barça this was a very bad day indeed. Bayern Munich ran riot with goals from Müller (2), Gómez and Robben, and although the Catalans vowed that they’d be able to turn things around in the second leg, they never came close. The Germans ended up powering into the final to the tune of a 7-0 aggregate win and the word on the street was that Bayern were the new kings of Europe. But you can’t keep FCB down for long. At the same stage of the same competition two years later, they’d be trouncing Bayern 5-3 en route to a historic treble.
It hasn’t always been glory for FC Barcelona but if history has shown us one thing, it’s that even though there will be the occasional moment of horror, you can always guarantee that they’ll bounce back up again. Happy Halloween and don’t let these dreadful memories keep you awake at night!
Croatian comes on for the injured Sergi Roberto and in 77 minutes on the field plays a central role in a 2-0 victory in Belarus
. Brace. Ivan Rakitic was the star of the game, scoring his first ever double in an FC Barcelona shirt, although it was by no means the first of his professional career. For Schalke 04 (2009-10) he once scored twice in a Bundesliga match and for Sevilla he achieved the feat twice in 2012/13 and twice again in 2013/14.
2. Utmost efficiency. A powerful strike from the edge of the area and a deft flick over the keeper saw Rakitic score from both of his two goals attempts on Tuesday night.
3. Ten goals. Those were the Croatian’s first two goals of the present season, taking his overall tally for Barça up to ten. A substitute for the third time this season, he played 77 minutes and performed brilliantly in the centre of the field and down the right wing, with 68 of his 75 passes finding their target.
4. 4. Five times more shots. Barça had 20 goal attempts in the game, while BATE Borissov only had four. It was a quiet game for Ter Stegen in the Barcelona goal, in which he was rarely put to any kind of serious test.
5. Gerard Gumbau of Barça B got his first 22 minutes of Champions League football on Tuesday night. His fifth outing for the first team was his fourth of the current season and his second in a row.
6.Jordi Alba was the Barça player that made the most passes, and 95 of his total of 108 were completed.
The FC Barcelona manager highlights his team's display in defence and describes the draw between Bayer and Roma as positive for their interests
Naturally enough, Luis Enrique was happy with the 2-0 win in Belarus. “We played well both in attack and in defence” he said after the final whistle. “Not letting in a goal is always a good sign.” This was the first time the team has kept a clean sheet in eight games.
Here is a selection of other comments made by the Barça manager after the game.
“We didn’t suffer in defence because we kept creating pressure. The whole team worked well”.
“This win strengthens us. To win with a clean sheet while the other game ended in a draw puts us in a strong position”.
On winning and receiving goals
“At the moment we seem to need to create a lot of chances in order to score goals, while our opponents can hurt us at the lightest moment. Today we didn’t let in any goals. This might be the turning point”.
“We need to keep working to better still. There are things we have improved compared to last season”.
On Rakitic’s goal
“It was a great goal. We created a lot of chances and found it hard to break the deadlock”.
“The more different players score the better it is for the team”.
The most interesting details to get you ready for Barça's third match in Group E of the UEFA Champions League, set for Tuesday at 8.45pm CET in Belarus
Champions. On 16 October BATE Borisov added another title to their display case, beating fellow Belarusians FC Vitebsk 2–1 for the Vysshaya Liga (Belarusian League) championship, their 12th overall and 10th row.
Return to action. Two years after suffering a serious injury, Belarusian striker Dmitri Mozolevski is once again available for head coach Aleksandr Yermakovich.
Shutouts. In 23 games this season for BATE Borisov, starting goalkeeper Sergei Chernik has racked up 16 clean sheets.
1–0 wins. BATE Borisov have won more games by the minimum this season — 12 of their 26 victories — than by any other score.
Five-game unbeaten streak. Since losing 4–1 at Bayer Leverkusen in their first Group E match of the Champions League, BATE have yet to fall, harvesting four wins and a draw.
Aleksandr Hleb. It would have made a nice storyline, but the Belarusian, who played for Barça in the 2008/09, will not face his former team on Tuesday while being sidelined due to injury.
1 in 10. This is the number of wins BATE Borisov have earned against teams from the Spanish First Division, with a lone 2–1 victory over Athletic Club de Bilbao in the 2014/15 season the only bright spot to go along with nine defeats.
Borisov Arena debut. FC Barcelona will play for the first time in BATE's new stadium. The two sides faced off in the 2011/12 Champions League group stage in Minsk — which Barça won 5–0 — since Haradski Stadium, which was BATE's home grounds at the time, did not comply with UEFA's rules for hosting Champions League matches.
Messi Milestone. It was in Minsk that the Barça striker scored his 194th goal, tying him with László Kubala, making Messi, at the time, the second highest scorer in Club history.
Sergi Roberto's first Barça goal. The La Masia product and BATE Borisov have a special relationship ever since he made his first team debut in the last Champions League match between these two teams — Barça's 4–0 victory at Camp Nou in the 2011/12 season.
The blaugrana coach reminds everyone that Barça 'are in one of the tightest groups in the Champions League'
Once in Minsk and after Sergio Busquets’ appearance before the press, Luis Enrique took the stage in front of the gathered media. The Barça was cautious ahead of the game on Wednesday against BATE Borisov: “Favourites no. It is one of the tightest groups in the Champions League, we don’t expect anything to be easy.” He continued: “We have to focus on what we have to do, in improving and in being better than our rivals.”
Respecting your opponent
“The game from four years ago against BATE means little now. The win against Roma means a lot more. We don’t expect an easy game.”
“That BATE are now league champions shows how they dominate at home. It’s always better to come into the game in that kind of situation.”
“We work as a team, our leader is Leo Messi, it’s not about another player fulfilling his role.”
“It’s a problem for the whole team, starting with the coach. We are working to find a collective solution.”
“As a player that I know well, I am happy that he has earned his reward. I urge him to maintain his form.”
The FC Barcelona midfielder thinks that the Belarusians could 'make life difficult for us' and believes that 'the team only thinks about winning'
Sergio Busquets was given the job of speaking to the press the day before the game between BATE Borisov and FC Barcelona, the blaugranes third game in Group E in this season’s Champions League group stages. The midfielder cast his eye over Wednesday’s rivals and reflected upon Neymar’s stellar performance against Rayo Vallecano last Saturday in the league.
“We respect all our rivals. In the Champions League any game away from home can be tricky. In theory they are not a team you see getting through but that does not mean they cannot makes things tricky for you. We respect them, we are ready and we are only thinking about winning.”
The absence of Leo Messi
“In terms of making a difference it is true that the team misses him. For me he is the best player in the world. We all have to give a little bit more with him missing so we notice it less. When a team has players like that missing then it is normal that you feel it.”
Neymar in form
“For everything that he brings to us, he is a key player for the team, more so in the absence of Messi. Let’s hope he continues his form.”
The game against Rayo
“In the second half against Rayo they had more of the ball because they had to take more risks. That allowed us to have more chances on the break and score more goals.”
On Tuesday at 8.45pm CET, FC Barcelona face a team that has constantly defied the odds to compete alongside the biggest clubs in Europe. We take a closer look at the Belarusian champions
BATE Borisov were largely unknown to the global football community until they were surprise qualifiers for the 2008/09 Champions League group stage. They finished bottom of their group, and despite raising a few eyebrows with draws home and away against the mighty Juventus, logic suggested that their brief moment in the limelight was over.
But BATE is not a side that follows the script. They are now back playing on football’s biggest stage for the fifth time in seven years, and having previously claimed such scalps as Bayern Munich and Athletic Bilbao, are going into Tuesday’s meeting with FC Barcelona on the back of a 3-2 victory at home to AS Roma.
So what is the secret that has got this unlikely club rubbing shoulders with the elite of European football on such a regular basis? It’s hard to say, other than the fact that they are very good at what they do.
Based in a city of some 145,000 people, and formed out of Borisov Automobile and Tractor Electronics, after which it was named, BATE ceased to exist entirely between 1981 and 1996. It was then that one of the factory’s owners, Anatoli Kapski, decided to revive the team, and has done so with such success that they have just won their tenth domestic league title in a row.
Such dominance at home means nothing in Europe, where due to Belarus being at the lower end of the UEFA coefficient spectrum, BATE invariably have to get through three rounds of qualifiers before they get to the part of the Champions League that really matters. And until last season, when the 13,126 capacity Borisov Arena was opened, they had to get by without even playing games in their own city, but in Minsk instead, because their former ground failed to meet UEFA standards.
Viktor Goncharenko must take a lot of the credit. The son of an engineer who died in the wake of the Chernobyl disaster, he became the youngest ever coach to appear in the Champions League. Under him, and in a manner not unlike FC Barcelona, the team developed its own unique brand of football and a very successful youth structure. Now, under his successor and long-time assistant, Alyaksandr Yermakovich, the good work is being continued.
All of this is achieved with a squad of largely home-bred players. BATE do have a handful of foreign imports, three Serbs, a Latvian and a Montenegrin this season, although with 21 international caps between them, they are not even household names in their own countries. The rest are entirely Belarusian.
Considering their mammoth achievements both at home and abroad, one would expect BATE to provide the core of the players for the Belarus national team, ranked 71st in the world. But although the squad does include national heroes like former Barça midfielder Alexander Hleb, seeing out the twilight of his career at his boyhood club, and striker Vitali Rodionov, the vast majority of Belarus’ top players have crossed the border to ply their trade in Russia, while others have picked up contracts in Western Europe.
But BATE keep responding to the loss of players by producing more. As chairman Kapski once told uefa.com: “Every year some homegrown players emerge and we count on them ... We are a successful team, but to stand firmer on our feet we need to capitalise on our achievements. That is pretty difficult to do in the current market climate in Belarus, but we try to get stronger every year anyway ... We may go for some transfers that would be considered big for Belarus, but we will not bring stars here that would look down on our young team.”
In the face of adversity, BATE keep going strong, and are a club to be commended for their achievements.
Barça have arrived in Belarus for their Champions League group stage match on Tuesday
FC Barcelona are in Minsk for Tuesday’s duel against BATE Borisov. The flight, which is also carrying the U19 side, took off from Barcelona-El Prat airport at 2.45pm CETand landed in the Belarusian capital at 6.20pm CET. The Barça delegation is led by vice-president Jordi Mestre and directors Jordi Moix, Javier Bordas and Silvio Elías.
The squad will remain at the hotel in Minsk until the time of the match which will take place at 8.45pm CET.
The Belgian defender has recovered from injury and is one of 20 players headed to Belarus
Thomas Vermaelen has received the medical green light and is a new addition to the FC Barcelona squad headed to Belarus to take on BATE Borisov on Tuesday 20 October (8.45pm CET). The Belgian centre-back had been out injured since 12 September during Barça’s visit to the Vicente Calderón.
A total of 20 players will make the journey for third Champions League group match of the season: Ter Stegen, Bravo, Masip, Vermaelen, Dani Alves, Jordi Alba, Adriano, Douglas, Mascherano, Piqué, Mathieu, Bartra, Sergi Roberto, Sergio Busquets, Rakitic, Gumbau, Munir, Sandro, Suárez and Neymar Jr.
As opposed to the usual Champions League routine, the team had their final training before the match in Barcelona rather than at the venue of the game. All available first team players took part, as did Gumbau from Barça B.
After the training session ended, the team went to El Prat airport to catch their flight to Belarus which landed in Minsk at around 6.20pm CET.
All you need to know about the Belarusian club ahead of the Champions League clash against FC Barcelona
Following a midweek visit to Minsk to play Bate Borisov, FC Barcelona end the week at home to Eibar
After the 5-2 defeat of Rayo, Barça return to work on Monday with an eye on the third Champions League fixture, which takes them to Bate Borisov on Tuesday at 8.45pm CET. When they get back from Minsk, attention will switch to the weekend Liga match against Eibar. Here’s the plan for the week ahead (all times CET):
11.00am: Training at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper
8.45pm: Champions League Group E. Bate Borisov v FC Barcelona
11.00am: Training at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper
11.00am: Training at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper
11.00am: Training at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper
6.15pm: Liga match 9. FC Barcelona v Eibar
11.00am: Training at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper
Barça’s next opponents in the Champions League claim the Belarussian league title for the tenth consecutive season thanks to a victory over Vitebski
Elsewhere there is a win for AS Roma and a draw for Bayer Leverkusen, Barça's other rivals in Group E of the Champions League
Bate Borisov have claimed the league title for the tenth year in a row and so go into their third game of this season’s Champions League group stages against FC Barcelona next Tuesday in confident mood. The Belarus outfit sewed up the championship with a 2-0 win over FC Vitebsk, goals in the first half from Rios and Mozolevski handed Aleksandr Yermakovich’s team the win they needed with four games of the season still remaining.
A point for Leverkusen
Elsewehere, fellow Group E rivals Bayer Leverkusen have also returned to action after the international break. Roger Schmidt’s side picked up a point away from home at Hamburg, the contest ending 0-0 in the Imtech Arena. Their second consecutive draw in the Bundesliga leaves them down in eight place on 14 points at the moment with more games still to be played this weekend.
Roma victory in De Rossi’s 500th game
Finally, Barça’s other opponents in their Champions League group, AS Roma, have also been in action. The Italian side ran out 3-1 winners in Serie A at home to Empoli in a game that saw Daniele De Rossi make his 500th appearance for the club. The midfielder celebrated by scoring the second in the victory after Pjanic had opened the scoring in the second half. Salah added a third for Roma before Büchel pulled one back with quarter of an hour to go. The win leaves Rudi Garcia in second place in the table behind leaders Fiorentina who face Napoli away from home on Sunday.
Season 2015 - 2016iCal
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