Barcelona edged to a 1-0 win over Sporting Lisbon following an own goal from Sebastian Coates at the Estadio Jose Alvalade to maintain a 100% start in Champions League Group D.
The LaLiga leaders were left frustrated following a goalless first half as the Portuguese side produced a determined defensive display, but broke the deadlock four minutes into the second half when Luis Suarez’s flicked header deflected onto Coates and back into the net.
There was, though, no 100th European goal for Lionel Messi, who saw a couple of first half chances saved and also fired over from a free-kick.
Tweet of the match
Luis Suarez. While on another night Messi would have taken the plaudits, it was the tireless running of the Uruguary forward which caught the eye in Lisbon. After some quick thinking and clever passing twice set up his team-mate, Suarez was also unfortunate not to open the scoring when his angled drive was saved. The former Liverpool frontman was then in the right place at the right time as Messi’s free-kick was glanced goalwards, which he somehow managed to divert on to the unlucky Coates and back into the net.
Moment of the match
In a game of few clear-cut chances, it was probably fitting that the result was ultimately decided by a goal which included a rather large slice of luck for the visitors. Sporting, though, will feel they should have done more to clear the danger as Messi’s free-kick drifted over several green shirts into a crowded penalty area before being diverted off Suarez’s head, onto Coates and back into the net.
Following on from two in the 3-0 win at Girona, three of the last four goals from Barcelona have now been scored by their opposition.
Sporting Lisbon: Rui Patricio 7 v(out of 10), Cristiano Piccini 6, Sebastian Coates 6, Jeremy Mathieu 7, Fabio Coentrao, 6 Gelson Martins 6, William Carvalho 6, Rodrigo Battaglia 6, Marcos Acuna 6, Bruno Fernandes 6, Seydou Doumbia 5. Substitutes: Bas Dost (for Doumbia 44) 6, Bruno Cesar (for Acuna 73) 6, Jonathan Silva (for Coentrao 73) 6.
Barcelona: Marc-Andre ter Stegen 7, Nelson Semedo 7, Gerard Pique 6, Samuel Umtiti 6, Jordi Alba 6, Ivan Rakitic 6, Andres Iniesta 6, Sergio Busquets 6, Sergi Roberto 6, Lionel Messi 6, Luis Suarez 8. Substitutes: Paulinho (for Iniesta 79) 6, Andre Gomes (for Sergi Roberto 87) 6, Aleix Vidal (for Suarez 88) 6.
Who’s up next?
Sporting Lisbon v Porto (Portuguese Liga, October 1)
Barcelona v Las Palmas (LaLiga, October 1)