Messi leads Barcelona past Slavia Prague 2-1 in Champions League
PRAGUE: A quick-fire strike from Lionel Messi and a second half own goal gave Barcelona a 2-1 win over Slavia Prague in a thrilling Champions League Group F encounter on Wednesday where both sides spurned multiple chances.
Barcelona swarmed forward from the kick off, keeping Slavia bottled up in their own end and denying them possession.
They took the lead in the third minute when Messi forced a turnover before feeding the ball to Arthur who returned it for the Argentine to slip past the goalkeeper.
Slavia regrouped quickly and began pressing forward in numbers during a lively first half in which they out-shot Barcelona and created three golden opportunities to level the score.
The home side, pushed on by a roaring crowd, kept their foot on the pedal after the break and deservedly levelled in the 50th minute when Lukas Masopust held off a defender before threading a pass to Jan Boril who made no mistake in front of goal.
Barcelona, harried all night by a hard-running Slavia side, reclaimed their advantage in the 57th minute when a Luis Suarez shot from a tight angle bounced off Peter Olayinka and into the net.