|FC Barcelona team photo, Champions League vs Ajax|
FC Barcelona hosted Ajax Amsterdam in their Group F match & won 3 - 1. The result could have been higher for Barça but they failed to convert their numerous opportunities, especially in the 1º st half. The Spaniards dominated totally proceedings with Messi on fire, along with Neymar & Iniesta who were combining well & quickly.
The first goal came from a series of one touch passes between the mentioned players which ended with Neymar scoring in the 7th min. The dominance continued & Lionel Messi got the second goal in the 24th min.
With things under control in the 2º half Barça Coach Luis Enrique began thinking in next Saturdays big Liga game against Real Madrid. He substituted Neymar, Messi & Iniesta in a short space of time & this took out some intensity from the Barça game. So much so, that Ajax managed more ball dominance & scored in the 89th min through El Ghazi. Some nerves settled into the Barcelona line-up with another close call appearing through a Ajax opportunity. However, young Barça substitute & forward Sandro sealed the victory with his 92nd min goal.
Special mention for Javier Mascherano who was playing in the position of Busquets, who was out with injury. Fantastic tonight was the equilibrium point of his team with sacrificing work & effort.
Spanish Club Athletic Club Bilbao travelled to Portugal to face Porto in their Group H clash. Bad result for Bilbao which lost 2 - 1 to Porto, a loss that virtual makes qualifying out off this Group almost impossible. Bilbao are going through a very difficult period with their Football both in Liga & European competitions.
Porto offered most of the initiative tonight as they too wanted the 3 points to secure their presence in Champions for the next phase. Bilbao valiantly defended well until Hector Herrera scored the opener for Porto in the 44th min. This was a moral blow for Bilbao.
However, continuing with the Bilbao tradition & history of never giving up the Spaniards pulled from pride & manage spirit lifting equalizer from Guillermo in the 58th min. But their hopes received another harsh blow when Quaresma put Porto back ahead in the 75th min. Bilbao could not manage to get back from this goal as the earlier physical efforts had wore out the visitors legs & their moral.
Tomorrow more Champions League matches scheduled with Real Madrid & Atletico de Madrid on show in their respective Groups.