First-half goals from Ferran Torres and Fermin Lopez helped Barcelona to a 2-1 win against Shakhtar to keep up their perfect start to life in Champions League Group H.
The locals dominated from the start despite missing several key players due to injury and suspensions, and they opened the scoring in the 28th minute with a Torres volley on the rebound after 20-year-old Lopez’s strike from close range crashed against the woodwork.
The goal was initially ruled out for a hint of an offside in the build-up, but a VAR check confirmed Lopez’s involvement had been legal.
Without the injured Robert Lewandowski, Raphinha, Sergi Roberto, Frenkie de Jong, Jules Kounde and Pedri, and with midfielder Gavi suspended for a red card in Barcelona’s win against FC Porto, manager Xavi Hernandez called up eight academy players including Lopez, who is becoming a regular in the first team.
He caused all kinds of trouble for Shakhtar and extended Barca’s lead in the 36th minute, unleashing a thunderous shot which ricocheted off the left post on its way in.
Barca then missed several chances to stretch out their lead, with Lopez hitting the post twice more and having two goals ruled out by VAR for offside.
Shakhtar midfielder Georgiy Sudakov stroked in a tidy finish on the counter in the 62nd minute to narrow the deficit, but Barcelona held on despite late pressure to secure their third win in three games.
Feyenoord move top of Group E with Lazio win
Feyenoord beat visitors Lazio 3-1 on Wednesday thanks to a double from Mexico’s Santiago Gimenez and a strike from Ramiz Zerrouki to move top of Champions League Group E.
The Dutch champions could have taken the lead in the 25th minute when Gimenez’s effort was disallowed after a VAR review, but he had another shot five minutes later from Mats Wieffer’s pass which flew into the top corner of Ivan Provedel’s net.
Gimenez scored on his debut in Europe’s top club competition to become the second Mexican player to do so after Edson Alvarez for Ajax against Lille in 2019.
Feyenoord, European champions in 1970, doubled their lead before half-time when midfielder Calvin Stengs cut inside and set up Algeria international Zerrouki to shoot home.
Gimenez grabbed his second from a rebound from Quinten Timber’s shot in the 74th minute but Lazio claimed a consolation when Marcos Lopez fouled Valentin Castellanos and Pedro Rodriguez converted the penalty seven minutes from time.