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UEFA Champions League

Barca Finish Top Of Group D

UEFA Champions League
 
Result: FC Barcelona 2-0 Sporting Lisbon
 
Date: 05 December 2017
 
Venue: Camp Nou
 
FC Barcelona killed Sporting Lisbon's slim chance of qualifying for the Champions League last-16 on Tuesday night as they beat them 2-0 at Camp Nou, with Lionel Messi coming off the bench.
 
The game started slowly, with not much happening at either end.
 
Then, in the 20th minute, a decent shot from former Benfica man André Gomes went just wide of the target.
 
Four minutes later, Luis Suárez surged past Sebastián Coates before forcing a good save from Rui Patrício.
 
That was as close as either side went in a goalless first half.
 
Sporting needed a win to stay in contention for last 16 qualification and Jorge Jesus looked to change the game at half-time, bringing on Bas Dost and Gelson Martins for Stefan Ristovski and Alan Ruiz.
 
Martins got off to a bright start, doing well to make room for himself to shoot in the 53rd minute. However, he miscued his effort and it went wide.
 
Barcelona took the lead six minutes afterwards with a perfectly-placed header from Paco Alcácer after he met a Denis Suárez corner.
 
Ernesto Valverde then brought Messi on for Aleix Vidal, adding insult to injury.
 
However Sporting had not given up. Bas Dost met a cross from Bruno Fernandes 62 minutes in and looked certain to score from close range, but Jasper Cillessen made a fantastic save to deny him.
 
The Blaugrana continued to threaten at the other end, with Messi uncharacteristically firing wide in the 74th minute before forcing a fine save from Patrício with a curling shot in the 82nd.
 
Dost had a chance on the volley moments after the latter strike, but fired the ball straight into the ground and over the target.
 
With just a minute plus stoppage time to go, Messi set Alcácer up with a clever pass, but this time, he failed to hit the target.
 
Barcelona did find the back of the net again in stoppage time as former Barcelona player Jérémy Mathieu turned a Denis Suárez cross into his own goal.
 
Despite Sporting's best efforts, they were simply outclassed by the Catalans. Barcelona finished top of Group D, with the Portuguese giants finishing third.

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