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Defeat for Barça in the Kresimir Cosic Hall in Zadar, Croatia in the final of the Champions League as Andreu Plaza's team went down to 4-3 defeat against Portuguese side Sporting CP. Four second half goals from Sporting turned the game with Barça looking well set to retain the European crown 2-0 up at half time.
Barça began the game in intense fashion and never let up in the first half. In the very first minute the blaugranes took the lead with Marcenio finding the net. Sporting were overwhelmed by the pressure from Plaza's team and never got going in attack.
Adolfo, André Coelho, Dyego and Ferrao were all denied by Sporting keeper Guitta with Esquerdinha than hitting the post not once but twice. Just before half time the blaugranes did manage to double their lead when Ximbinha fired home on 18 minutes.
Fateful second half
Everything changed after the break. Nuno Dias' team came out determined to get into the game. Nevertheless, Adolfo could have made it 3-0 on 25 minutes with an effort that came back off the woodwork.
Just a minute later Sporting's Zicky pulled one back and then on 28 minutes Erick levelled things up. Barça were rocked and conceded a third on 31 minutes when João Matos turned in a rebound off the woodwork.
With the blaugranes pushing up in attack, Varela scored a simple fourth for Sporting with three minutes to go. Ferrao gave Barça hope with a goal on 38 minutes but Sporting clung on for a victory that seemed unlikely at half time. Barça, for their part, were left to rue what could have been after their excellent opening period.
SPORTING CP, 4
Barça: Dídac Plana, Aicardo, Dyego, Ferrao, Marcenio –starting five- André Coelho, Daniel, Adolfo, Esquerdinha, Ximbinha, Matheus, Joselito.
Sporting CP: Guitta, Erick, Joao Matos, Alex Merlim, Pauleta –starting five- Tomás Paço, Zicky, Taynan, Pany Varela, Cavinato, Vinicius Rocha, Turé.
Goals: 1-0, Marcenio (min 1). 2-0, Ximbinha (min 18). 2-1, Zicky (min 26). 2-2, Erick (min 28). 2-3, Joao Matos (min 31). 2-4, Varela (min 37). 3-4, Ferrao (min 38).
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