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Barcelona Thrashes Sporting Lisbon
    2008-11-27 13:20:23     Xinhua

Barcelona's Lionel Messi (L) celebrates his goal against Sporting with his team mates Xavi Hernandez (C) and Daniel Alves (R) in a Champions League match in Lisbon November 26, 2008. [Photo: Reuters]

FC Barcelona won 5-2 away to Sporting Lisbon in the Champions League on Wednesday night to qualify for the last 16 of the competition as winners of Group C.

Both sides had already assured their places in the next round and all that remained to be decided before the game was which side would win the group and claim a theoretically easier draw in the next round.

Barcelona had traveled to Lisbon in the back of a 1-1 home draw to Getafe, which had raised some doubts about their form. But all of those doubts were dispelled in the first 16 minutes.

First Thierry Henry opened the scoring from close range from a Leo Messi pass and then Gerard Pique doubled their lead following good service from Eidur Gudjohnsen.

It was 2-0 to Barcelonaat the break and the game looked to be over as a contest when Leo Messi made it 3-0 with a typical left foot finish.

However, the visitors relaxed following that and two goals in a minute brought Sporting right back into the match.

First of all Miguel Veloso scored a free kick on 65 minutes, before Liedson brought his team right back into things with a fine solo goal.

Barcelona woke from their lethargy and an own goal from former Valencia defender Marco Caneira re-opened a two goal lead and Bojan made it 5-2 after 73 minutes.

The teenage striker scored a penalty after he had been fouled by Rui Particio, who was sent off for his offence. With only 16 minutes left and Sporting down to just 10 men, that was the end of the contest and Barcelona picked up another comfortable win.

 
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