Champions League: Barcelona trounce Basel; Sporting win


Hamburg : Barcelona showed why they are one of the favourites to lift the Champions League title this season with a resounding 5-0 victory against Basel in a Group C match played in Switzerland.

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There were also victories for PSV Eindhoven, who won 2-0 against Olympique Marseille, and Bordeaux, who beat Romanian first-timers CFR Cluj 1-0.

In Basel, Lionel Messi gave the Spanish giants the ideal start with a fourth minute opener. Sergi Busquets added a second in the 15th minute, before 18-year-old starlet Bojan Krkic scored the first of his two goals in the 22nd minute.

Any hopes of a remarkable comeback in the second half for the home side were effectively squashed within the first three minutes after the restart when Bojan scored his second a minute after the start to the second half and Xavi Hernandez made it five for the rampant La Liga side just two minutes later.

The other game in the group saw Shakhtar Donetsk go down at home to Sporting Lisbon, for whom Liedson scored the only goal of the match late in the second half.

Barcelona are the only side left in the Champions League with a full compliment of nine points from their three games, while Sporting are second with six points.

In Madrid, Atletico Madrid took on Liverpool in their Group D game in their Estadio Calderon after Europe’s governing body UEFA had postponed a two-match stadium ban imposed for security problems at a previous Champions League game. Robbie Keane’s 14th minute goal gave the visitors the lead, but Simao equalised in the 83rd minute.

Koevermans’ two goals gave PSV Eindhoven a 2-0 victory against Olympique Marseille in the other group D game.

The results see Atletico and Liverpool top the group with seven points, while PSV have three points.

Chelsea left it late in their Group A game against Roma before John Terry found the winner for the London club in the 77th minute, while a Cadu own goal gave Bordeaux the winner against Cluj, who also had Eugen Trica sent off in the last minute.

The Premier League club lead the group with seven points, while Cluj are also still in the running with four points. Both Bordeaux and Roma have three points.

In Group B, Panathinaikos and Werder Bremen drew 2-2, while Inter Milan won 1-0 against Cypriot rookies Anorthosis Famagusta.

In Athens German international defender Per Mertesacker gave Bremen the lead in the 29th minute, but Evangelos Mantzios scored once in both halves to put the home side up before Portuguese international Hugo Almeida gave the visitors the draw that took them to third in the group on three points.

Germany midfielder Torsten Frings was disappointed that his side had again let in two goals. “I am pleased that we fought back to get a draw which keeps us in the competition, but I am disappointed that we again let in two goals.

Anorthosis, who lost in Milan to a Adriano goal just before the break, are second behind Inter on four points.