Scottish club Celtic were seconds away from claiming a historic point at the Nou Camp until a 94th minute Jordi Alba goal gave Barcelona a 2-1 victory in their Champions League Group G match on Tuesday.
Alba glanced Adriano’s curling pass into the box to deflect the ball beyond goalkeeper Fraser Forster, who impressed throughout the match and made brilliant saves to deny Lionel Messi and Alexis Sanchez in the dying moments.
Celtic scored first through Giorgos Samaras’ 18th-minute header that deflected into the net off Barcelona’s Javier Mascherano.
The Spanish club equalised when Andres Iniesta finished a slick combination with Xavi Hernandez to score his first goal of the season in the 45th.
|Champions League Group Results|
Tuesday 23rd October
Spart. Moscow 2-1 Benfica
Barca now top the group with a maximum of nine points from three matches and need only a point to go through to the next stage. Second placed Celtic still have a chance of going through with four points.
In the other Group G match, an own goal by Benfica defender Jardel earned Spartak Moscow their first points in this season’s Champions League with a hard-fought 2-1 victory.
The winner came two minutes before the break when Jardel, under pressure from Spartak striker Ari, redirected the ball into his own net from a Yevgeny Makeyev cross.
Spartak are third in the group with three points, ahead of Benfica at the bottom with one.
Nordsjaelland did manage a huge draw against Serie A leaders Juventus by putting up a strong fight against one of the tournament’s favourites to claim a 1-1 result in their Group E clash.
Mikkel Beckmann scored for the Danish side early in the second half before Mirko Vucini equalised for Juventus in the 81st minute.
Nordsjaelland’s first point of the competition left Juventus with only three points from three games.
Shakhtar Donetsk head Group E after their 2-1 victory over reigning Champions League holders Chelsea.
Alex Teixeira gave Shakhtar an early lead, scoring just three minutes into the game. Fernandinho added a second with a low right-footed shot into the far left corner past a diving Petr Cech in the 52nd minute. Branislav Ivanovic narrowed the gap two minutes from time.
It was Chelsea’s first Champions League defeat since losing 3-1 to Napoli in the first leg of the knockout stage in March. The Blues are in second place in Group E with four points.
Manchester United continued their trend of falling behind early on against Braga in Group H, however, battled back from being two goals behind to claim a 3-2 victory.
Mexico striker Javier Hernandez started and completed United’s rescue act, with his winner coming in the 75th minute following wave after wave of attacks from the home side.
One more victory will seal United’s passage out of the group stage.
In the other Group H match, Burak Yilmaz scored a late equaliser following an own goal to give Galatasaray a 1-1 draw with CFR Cluj.
In Group F, Spanish club Valencia achieved the only comfortable victory of the evening with a 3-0 win over BATE Borisov.
Valencia lead Group F on goal difference ahead of BATE and Bayern Munich, who defeated French club Lille 1-0.