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Champions League: Barcelona ease past Shakhtar Donetsk

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Barcelona 2-1 Shakhtar Donetsk Champions League
Barcelona forward Fermin Lopez celebrates after scoring in the UEFA Champions League clash against Shakhtar Donetsk. | PHOTO: ESPN |
  • Barcelona hosted Shakhtar Donetsk at the Camp Nou in a UEFA Champions League clash
  • Despite a tough play by Shakhtar, Barca cruised to a 2-1 home victory
  • The Blaugranas are now three points from securing a spot in the knockout stages

Barcelona moved closer to securing a spot in the UEFA Champions League knockout stages following a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Shakhtar Donetsk. Barca maintained their winning streak with goals from Ferran Torres and Fermin Lopez, with the latter’s strike being crucial in securing the win despite Shakhtar’s Heorhiy Sudakov narrowing the deficit in the second half.

Xavi’s team demonstrated flashes of brilliance, deploying a shuffled lineup in anticipation of their upcoming clash against Real Madrid in La Liga’s El Clasico on Saturday at the Nou Camp.

The match began with an almost perfect start for Barcelona, as Oriol Romeu’s aggressive pressing forced a turnover in Shakhtar’s penalty area, setting up an opportunity for Lopez to create a chance. However, the midfielder’s attempt was thwarted by Dmytro Riznyk, preventing an early lead for Barca.

Barcelona’s persistence paid off in the 28th minute when Torres secured the opening goal. Lopez positioned himself adeptly within the box, leading to his strike ricocheting off the post and falling perfectly for Torres to unleash a powerful shot into the net. Initially deemed offside by VAR, the decision was overturned, validating Barca’s lead.

Barcelona 2-1 Shakhtar Donetsk: UEFA Champions League

Barcelona players celebrate after Ferran Torres scored the opener against Shakhtar Donetsk in the UEFA Champions League. | PHOTO: ESPN |

READ: Marc Guiu, the latest Barcelona academy graduate

Lopez further solidified Barcelona’s dominance with a spectacular goal in the 36th minute. Displaying exceptional skill, the La Masia youth product surged forward from midfield, skillfully maneuvered past his opponent with a deceptive move, and delivered a thunderous strike that ricocheted off the post and found the back of the net.

Lopez’s remarkable performance in the first half earned him deserved recognition as he secured his second goal of the season.

Despite their comfortable advantage, Barcelona continued to press forward in the second half, with Joao Felix coming close to extending their lead, only to be denied by Riznyk’s acrobatic save from a challenging angle.

Shakhtar, resolute in their approach to building from the back, struggled to contend with Barcelona’s relentless pressing, prompting a wave of blue and red shirts to swarm their possession.

Shakhtar, however, managed to stun Xavi’s side with an unexpected goal, reducing the deficit to 2-1. Exploiting a momentary loss of possession by Felix, Shakhtar swiftly advanced into Barcelona’s territory, with Irakli Azarovi providing a precise pass to the speedy Sudakov, who adeptly maneuvered past Romeu and unleashed a powerful strike past Marc-Andre Ter Stegen.

Barcelona’s quest for a third goal was met with several near misses, including a striking effort from Lopez that ricocheted off the post in the 68th minute, followed by a disallowed header as Barca intensified their pursuit of a commanding victory. Despite Shakhtar’s resilient efforts, Barcelona managed to maintain their lead and secure the vital three points, setting the stage for a thrilling encounter against Real Madrid in the highly anticipated El Clasico.

Nathan Sialah is a journalist by profession with interest in politics, sports, cryptocurrency and human interests with 5 years experience in Radio and Digital Journalism. This has helped Sialah develop a responsible approach to any task he undertakes or any situation that he is presented with.

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