Champions League

Ibrahimovic rescues Barcelona

2010-02-24 07:31
Zlatan Ibrahimovic (AP)

Germany - Zlatan Ibrahimovic's second-half equaliser earned holders Barcelona a 1-1 draw at VfB Stuttgart in their Champions League last-16 first leg on Tuesday.

Brazilian-born German international Cacau headed the mid-table Bundesliga team in front in the 25th minute as they outplayed the visitors in a pulsating first half.

Stuttgart had chances to increase their lead as they put the champions on the back foot but Lionel Messi also hit the post for Barca just before halftime.

Barca levelled in the 52nd minute when Ibrahimovic scored at the second attempt after his first shot was superbly saved by Jens Lehmann.

"We have to do better, play the way we are capable of, but don't forget that in European competition you are facing very good teams," said Barca coach Pep Guardiola.

"Europe is very tough, very difficult and very demanding."

The first chance of the game fell to Messi, who had a shot blocked by Serdar Tasci after he burst through the middle.

Cacau, who scored four goals in a 5-1 win at Cologne on Saturday, then put Stuttgart ahead when he outjumped Carles Puyol at the far post to nod in Timo Gebhart's cross.

The Germans appealed for a penalty for a handling offence by Gerard Pique before Cacau had a toe-poked shot blocked by keeper Victor Valdes.

In another home attack Christian Traesch should have done better when he shot wide from Aleksandr Hleb's layoff.

Stuttgart then had a let-off when Lehmann allowed a Messi shot to slip through his hands, only for the ball to hit the post and bounce into the arms of the grateful keeper.

Barca were on target soon after the restart when a Pique header found Ibrahimovic and he converted from close range at the second attempt.

The Sweden striker almost grabbed a winner when his shot was deflected over by a defender after Lehmann completely missed a corner.

Stuttgart coach Christian Gross was frustrated his side were only 1-0 up at halftime.

"I think we could have had another goal but things changed in the second half," said Gross. "They (Barca) didn't create so many chances.

"It was a great first half but we couldn't keep it up for the second. Not many teams take points off Barcelona so this makes me happy."

Read more on:    zlatan ibrahimovic
NEXT ON SPORT24X

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Logs
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

Which team will win the 2013/14 Champions League title?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Featured Blog

Dave ask if you would like to meet your local sports heroes and stand the chance to win prizes to the value of over R40 000.

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

Forum Have your Say on Sport24's brand new Forum!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.