UEFA Champions League

March 17, 2010



4 - 0

VfB Stuttgart

UEFA Champions League

19:45 GMT, March 17, 2010

Camp Nou

Referee: Alain Hamer

2nd Leg: 5 - 1 (Agg)

  • 93'

    FULL TIME A wonderful win for Barcelona who reach the quarter-final thanks to two goals from Messi, another from Pedro and a late strike from Bojan. Thanks for following the game with us.

  • 92'

    Alves attempts to prise apart the Stuttgart defence once again, as Barca look for a fifth. They have been quite brilliant.

  • 90'

    What an impact from the young man. Just seconds after his introduction, Bojan converts neatly following a perfect pass from Ibrahimovic which snuck through the legs of Niedermeier.

  • 90'

    GOAL! Bojan!

  • 88'

    Guardiola makes his final change as Bojan replaces Iniesta for the last few minutes.

  • 88'

    Pique picks out Alves with a lovely, soaring crossfield ball but the Brazilian hoofs his cross well over the head of Zlatan.

  • 86'

    Brilliant from Messi once again as he gets away from two markers but his chipped finish floats wide of the post. He could have had three tonight.

  • 86'

    Marica negotiates his way around Maxwell in the box and wins a corner, but Stuttgart cannot take advantage.

  • 85'

    Messi passes up the chance to score a hat-trick! Collecting the ball in a central position and with just one man to beat, the forward allows Niedermeier to nick the ball away from him. You expect a bit better really. Rubbish, isn't he?

  • 84'

    Well on this evidence, Barca have to be real favourites to retain the trophy. Few teams will be able to cope with Messi in this kind of form, if any.

  • 82'

    Barca are pretty much going through the motions now. You wouldn't rule out a fourth though.

  • 81'

    Iniesta slips in Ibrahimovic but he takes too lnog with the ball at his feet and fails to either shoot or play it wide for Messi. Iniesta is then found offside when attempting to pick up the loose ball.

  • 80'

    Speak of the devil, Iniesta calls Lehmann into action with a low drive after a dummy by Messi.

  • 79'

    Henry is given a good reception when being replaced by Gabriel Milito. A defender for a striker? It appears Pique is moving into midfield, so Iniesta will go in attack once more.

  • 78'

    On a yellow card, Lehmann pushes his luck when having a word with the referee. He has been sent off against Barca before, of course...

  • 77'

    Ibrahimovic has the ball in the back of the net but the Swedish striker was adjudged to be offside. It was a close call, but correct.

  • 76'

    Alves, who has been here, there and everywhere in this second half, lofts in a cross for Henry who diverts his header wide of the post.

  • 75'

    Marica shows good technique when pulling the ball down in the box but Alves is across to stick his boot in.

  • 74'

    Delightful stuff from Iniesta as he kickstarts a counter attack by dazzling his marker Delpierre with some neat footwork. The move fizzles out though. That's a shame.

  • 72'

    Alves tees up Messi again from the right and while he chests down and volleys in one swift movement, Niedermeier is on hand to block the attempt. From the corner, Henry only just fails to get on the end of an Alves header back across goal.

  • 71'

    A lazy pass from Alves allows Molinaro to break, but his run is brought to a swift conclusion by an expert tackle from Gerard Pique.

  • 70'

    Another change for Stuttgart as Pogrebnyak is replaced by Ciprian Marica.

  • 69'

    Messi almost claims a hat-trick! Alves picks him out with a deep, curling cross from the right but his header is superbly saved by Lehmann, who gets down quickly to palm the ball away.

  • 67'

    Christian Molinaro fires in a cross from the left after a wonderful pass from Hleb, but his cross is too high, even for Pogrebnyak.

  • 66'

    Guardiola waited because Busquets has injured himself. Ibrahimovic comes on so Henry will go out to the left and Iniesta will drop into midfield.

  • 64'

    It looked as though Guardiola was ready to take off Henry for a minute, but he appears to have decided against it for now.

  • 62'

    Well Stuttgart need three now. This game is over, but don't go anywhere, not with Messi in this kind of form.

  • 60'

    Pedro drives down the right and picks out Alves, who turns the ball into Messi's path with a backheel. Messi then spins away from Gebhart and then drives the ball out of the reach of Lehmann, who could have done better with that.

  • 60'

    GOAL! Messi! Brilliant again!

  • 59'

    Yaya Toure and Sami Khedira collide and both players look in pain. They get gingerly to their feet though and we are back underway.

  • 57'

    Messi, again, takes possession of the ball in the left channel and tries to tee up henry with a low cross. Niedermeier is alert to intercept and clear though.

  • 56'

    Messi sprints into space down the left but when he finds himself surrounded in the box, he plays a lovely square pass for Toure who drags his shot just inches wide of the far post.

  • 55'

    Hleb is caught in possession on the edge of the box but Alves but Delpierre is across quickly to intercept and help his team-mate out.

  • 54'

    Kuzmanovic is booked for a challenge on Messi and he did clatter into the Barca man. Clumsy.

  • 53'

    Alves evades two markers will real elan but his ball through for Toure has far too much on it.

  • 51'

    Zlatan Ibrahimovic emerges from the bench to warm up and receives a generous reception from the home fans in Camp Nou. A waste of money? The jury is still out on that one.

  • 51'

    Alves plays a one-two with Pedro that almost opens up the Stuttgart defence, but the return pass is too heavy.

  • 49'

    Cacau appears to tread on Messi, who winces in pain as he grabs his foot. The forward is able to continue though, to the delight of neutrals everywhere.

  • 48'

    Pique attempts to pick out Henry with a long ball but fails to do so. Barca playing long ball? Maybe that was what Rafa meant when he compared Blackburn to the men from Catalunya.

  • 47'

    Messi appeals for a handball when Trasch cuts out his attempted pass for Iniesta, but referee Alain Hamer is not convinced.

  • 46'

    Stuttgart have made a change by the way, with Timo Gebhart replacing Stefano Celozzi.

  • 46'


  • 45'

    HALF-TIME. Wonderful stuff from Messi and Barca lead 2-0. Back in 15 minutes.

  • 45'

    Pedro goes down clutching his chin and Pavel Pogrebnyak is shown a yellow card for the incident. The striker did have his elbow up but it looked accidental.

  • 44'

    Kuzmanovic swings in a free-kick from the left wing but Alves heads clear and Pedro looks to launch a counter attack when turning sharply. Barca run into trouble though.

  • 44'

    Jens Lehmann is shown a yellow card. It is quite incredible how many cards he picks up. The man is a genius and football will be the poorer if he retires this summer.

  • 43'

    In all honesty, Barca have lost a little of their sparkle in the past 15 minutes but they are cruising towards the quarter-finals. It is Stuttgart who need to inject some energy into their performance.

  • 42'

    Carles Puyol goes down injured following a challenge from Khedira, who is rapidly turning into something of a wannabe hardman for the visitors. The Barca captain appears okay to continue though.

  • 41'

    Messi rides a challenge from Sami Khedira and drives into space, but his ball to Henry runs away from the striker and the danger passes.

  • 39'

    Pique attempts to attract more comparisons with Franz Beckenbauer when dribbling out of defence but loses possession. Thankfully for the Barca man, Christian Trasch cannot retain the ball.

  • 38'

    Dani Alves takes the free-kick from 37 metres but Roberto Carlos he is not, and the attempt flies well wide.

  • 37'

    Thierry Henry clutches his face under a challenge from Niedermeier and Barca win a free-kick. They take it short and then Matthieu Delpierre clatters into Busquets from behind.

  • 35'

    Dani Alves absolutely rifles in a cross for Henry but it strikes Georg Niedermeier and the Brazilian is ruled offside in any case.

  • 33'

    Christian Gross looks on perplexed. With 37 percent possession there is not a lot Stuttgart can do. Hleb and Kuzmanovic need to try and wrest control of this game from Toure and Busquets.

  • 31'

    Stuttgart look like mounting a decent attack but the move peters out. They have been disappointing tonight after an impressive display in the first leg. I think their spirit is broken.

  • 28'

    Barca enjoy another chance as Toure gets in behind the defence and squares for Henry, but the striker cannot connect when sticking out a leg in desperation.

  • 27'

    Iniesta produces a sumptuous ball with the outside of his boot to find Messi on the right, but the forward is guilty of a poor touch. Yes, I did just type that.

  • 27'

    Barca are so comfortable in possession and it is hard to see what Stuttgart can do to stem the tide of home attacks. They just need to get hold of the ball for a minute or two. Easier said than done.

  • 24'

    It's not as if Stuttgart have done anything horribly wrong, even if they should have closed Messi down for the first goal, but Barca are just a level above the Germans. It's a total mismatch.

  • 24'

    Stuttgart now need to score twice. It won't happen, will it?

  • 22'

    Well Pedro finished it off with a tap-in from close range but, yet again, it was all about that man Messi. The Argentinean plays in Toure with a lovely chipped pass and his team-mate then squares for Pedro. Simple, but beautiful.

  • 22'

    GOAL! Pedro! 2-0!

  • 20'

    Messi looks for the sliding pass to rampaging left-back Maxwell but Stefano Celozzi intercepts. Barca play those passes so well.

  • 20'

    Barcelona have enjoyed 62 percent possession so far and are good value for their lead.

  • 18'

    Pedro plays in Iniesta with a clever ball but the midfielder cannot collect and falls over in the box. Never even remotely a penalty.

  • 18'

    Dani Alves dallies in possession and Alex Hleb shows surprising tenacity to rob the Brazilian of the ball. He is adjudged to have fouled Alves though.

  • 15'

    Stuttgart must score, but they had to at the start of play so nothing really has changed in that regard. A scramble ensues in the Barca box but Valdes is fouled.

  • 13'

    As the ball flew off his foot, there were four Stuttgart players around him and he still picked out the shot. Stunning. Christian Gross won't be impressed though, the Stuttgart defence should have closed him down earlier.

  • 13'

    Superb, just superb. Messi picks the ball up just inside his own half, drifts inside and carries the ball 30 yards before unleashing a stunning shot into the top corner. That's why he is the best in the world, forget Wayne Rooney.

  • 13'

    GOAL! Messi! Brilliant!

  • 12'

    Henry shows great technique to dart away from Cacau and Kuzmanovic but he is too eager to get a shot away from the edge of the box and drags his effort wide. Henry has a lot to prove tonight, and he is the kind of man who will strive to answer his many critics.

  • 10'

    Incidentally, Jens Lehmann tonight becomes the third oldest player in Champions League history. Don't tell him that though, he'll probably push you over, or nick your glasses.

  • 9'

    The chances continue to flow for Barca as Messi, in his orthodox position on the right, cuts onto that magical left foot and tests Lehmann with a curling effort.

  • 8'

    Barca break and while Yaya Toure rides a challenge and takes the ball 30 yards, his pass for Iniesta does not have enough weight on it. For a Barca player, that is unforgivable.

  • 7'

    Barcelona are suddenly opened up when Cacau spins but Carles Puyol gets a crucial touch to stop Pavel Pogrebnyak from getting a shot away. Dani Alves exudes calm when mopping up for Barca. Good defending.

  • 7'

    Christian Trasch takes an elbow in the face from Maxwell and that will have hurt. He led with his arm and that was a touch reckless.

  • 6'

    Stuttgart respond with a chance of their own as Kuzmanovic lifts a shot well off target from 25 yards. That wasn't pretty.

  • 5'

    Academy graduate Pedro takes possession of the ball and drills a fierce effort wide of the post. It is a confident start from Barca.

  • 4'

    It appears as though Barca are adopting a somewhat unsual shape with Pedro playing out on the right, Iniesta on the left and Messi sitting in behind Henry. Messi usually plays on the right of course.

  • 2'

    First chance of the night goes to Barca as Messi plays a sublime pass for Henry, and he sees his shot saved by former Arsenal colleague Jens Lehmann. The keeper gives away a corner but Barca waste the set piece.

  • 1'

    It is a relaxed start from Barca as they stroke the ball around at the back. Pep Guardiola has pledged they will attack from the off tonight.




    The teams are emerging from the tunnel in Catalonia. Will we be paying homage to Messi again tonight? His hat-trick against Valencia was something else.


    Barca are reigning champions, boast the best player in the world in Messi and have home advantage at Camp Nou. A foregone conclusion, right?


    Stuttgart, who lost to Schalke at the weekend, have never reached the quarter finals of the Champions League and are without a win in Spain in their history. It will be a huge, huge shock if they go through. Bigger than Lyon knocking out Real Madrid.


    Stuttgart, meanwhile, bring in Zdravko Kuzmanovic for Timo Gebhart. Matthieu Delpierre also returns from suspension while I would advise you all to keep a close eye on Jens Lehmann. He was at his eccentric best in the first leg and this could be his final Champions League game.


    Picking Henry is a brave move from Pep Guardiola as the Frenchman has been in miserable form for most of the season. With Xavi out, Barca also field Yaya Toure and Sergio Busquets in midfield, with Pedro in attack. Do Stuttgart have a chance here tonight?


    It was the German side who took the lead in the first leg through Cacau, before Zlatan Ibrahimovic responded for Barca. In a surprise move, Thierry Henry starts ahead of the Swede in attack today, while Carles Puyol has overcome a back problem to start.


    Or maybe not. Lionel Messi was a force of nature when scoring a hat-trick in a 3-0 win over Valencia at the weekend, and if he plays at his optimum level then Stuttgart could be in trouble.


    Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the Champions League last-16 tie between Barcelona and Stuttgart. It is 1-1 after the first leg in Germany so a dramatic night may well await us.