Tello celebrating his goal/ PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ-FCB
Here are just a few of the facts and stats from the Spartak Moscow game.
• It was the third time this season that Barça has come from behind to win. In the first leg of the Super Cup against Real Madrid, Barça conceded the opening goal and then went on to win 3-2. In the league, Barça also fell behind to Osasuna in Pamplona but hit back with two goals to take all three points.
• Last night’s win means that Tito Vilanova joins a privileged group of coaches who have made their Champions League debut for Barça with a win: Brocic, Orizaola, Venables, Cruyff, Van Gaal, Serra Ferrer, Rexach, Antic, Rijkaard and Guardiola. Helenio Herrera and Michels had to settle for a draw in their European debuts.
• FC Barcelona is now unbeaten at home in the Champions League for the last 17 games. The last defeat came against another Russian side, Rubin Kazan (1-2 on 20th October 2009)
• Barça is now just one goal short of an astonishing 800 goals in European competition.
• Despite the closeness of the final score, Barça had 18 efforts on goal compared to Spartak’s 6.
• Mascherano was far and away the most effective recoverer of the ball (15). No other player in either team got beyond 7.
• Tito Vilanova played a 3-4-3 formation for the first time this season. With Barça trailing 1-2 in the 64th minute, the manager brought on Alexis for Alves
• Tello scored on his first appearance in the starting line-up in the Champions League. That makes three goals in four Champions League appearances.
• With the early injury to Piqué (504'), Messi (576'), Xavi (560') and Pedro (550') top the ranking of the most used players this season.
• With his two goals last night, Messi has scored 53 goals in the Champions League and equalled Raul’s record of 14 double strikes in the top European competition. His tally of CL goals is only surpassed by Shevchenko (59), Van Nistelrooy (60) and Raul (71).
• The third goal of the match, scored by Messi, was the Argentine’s third headed goal in the Champions League. The previous two came against Manchester United in the 2009 final and against BATE a year ago.
• Xavi is now sixth in the ranking of Champions League appearances with 121.