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Rediff News  All News  » Sports » Magical Messi rescues Barca as Cluj defy Chelsea

Magical Messi rescues Barca as Cluj defy Chelsea

October 02, 2008 05:42 IST

Substitute Lionel Messi scored two late goals, including one in stoppage time, to lead 2006 winners Barcelona to a 2-1 victory at Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League on Wednesday.

Last season's runners-up Chelsea were held to a 0-0 draw at surprise packages CFR Cluj, who were playing in Romania's third division just six years ago.

Cluj 0-0 Chelsea
Liverpool 3-1 PSV
Anorthosis 3-1 Panathinaikos
Atl├ętico M. 2-1 Marseille
Bordeaux 1-3 AS Roma
Inter Milan 1-1 W. Bremen
S. Donetsk 1-2 Barcelona

The result left Chelsea and Cluj level on four points in Group A, one ahead of third-placed AS Roma after the Italians fought back to win 3-1 at 10-man Girondins Bordeaux.

Liverpool continued to torment PSV Eindhoven with a 3-1 triumph over the Dutch side they eliminated in the 2006-07 quarter-finals after also beating them in the group stage.

The English club remain joint top of Group D with two wins from two games after Atletico Madrid, back in the Champions League for the first time since 1997, beat Olympique Marseille 2-1 to maintain their own perfect start.

Cypriot champions Anorthosis Famagusta kept up their dream debut with a 3-1 home win over Panathinaikos.

Anorthosis have four points from two matches in Group B, the same as Inter Milan who gave coach Jose Mourinho little to cheer with a 1-1 draw against Werder Bremen at the San Siro.

Brazilian defender Maicon put Inter ahead with a superb finish in the 13th minute but Peru striker Claudio Pizarro replied to give the Germans their second draw in a row.


Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola's decision to leave Messi on the bench backfired as Shakhtar took the lead on the stroke of halftime through Brazilian striker Ilsinho.

Messi's introduction on the hour finally paid dividends when the Argentine forward capitalised on a goalkeeping howler in the 87th minute before he silenced the home crowd with a brilliant lob from a tight angle in injury time.

Barcelona were struggling until Shakhtar keeper Andriy Pyatov, who had made several good saves, spilled a simple low cross at Messi's feet.

Chelsea also had a tricky trip to eastern Europe and found Cluj a tough nut to crack, with 32-year-old striker Eugen Trica hitting the post late on for the Romanian champions.

Nicolas Anelka had a Chelsea goal ruled out for offside and fellow striker Didier Drogba was carried off on a stretcher after a nasty collision with a defender early in the second half.

Dutch striker Dirk Kuyt fired 2005 winners Liverpool in front before Robbie Keane steered in his first goal for the club and Steven Gerrard drilled in a free kick to make it 3-0.

PSV scored their first goal in five meetings with Liverpool when Danny Koevermans swept home a late consolation.

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