Let’s turn back the clock to September 16, 2008. It was early in the season. Barça was playing its UEFA Champions League opener. Group C. Pep Guardiola had just taken over the reins as the Barça manager.
Defender Rafa Márquez scored to put Barça up, 1–0, in the 21st minute. That’s the way the game went into halftime.
On the hour mark, Samuel Eto’o converted a penalty kick to double Barça’s lead. Ten minutes later, in the 70th, another Barça defender, a 21-year-old named Gerard Piqué—in his first season with Barça after coming back to the club of his youth from Manchester United—drew the game’s first yellow card.
In the 72nd, Tonel scored for Sporting to cut the Barça lead in half, 2–1. But Barça slammed the door shut, with midfielder legend Xavi Hernández finding the net in the 87th for the definitive, 3–1, lead.
Fast forward to Tuesday, December 5, 2017, when Sporting will visit Camp Nou anew, this time with a last 16 berth on the line. Barça, however, having already clinched the top spot in Group D, can sit back and enjoy this one.