herald

Tuesday 6 December 2016

Rakitic stars in comfortable Barcelona victory

Ivan Rakitic has enjoyed huge success since moving to Barcelona
Ivan Rakitic has enjoyed huge success since moving to Barcelona

Two goals from Ivan Rakitic gave Barcelona a comfortable 2-0 victory away to BATE Borisov last night and consolidated their position at the top of Champions League Group E.

Rakitic, who came on following an injury to Sergi Roberto after just 17 minutes, hit a sublime strike into the top corner having been set up by Neymar at the start of the second half.

A livewire Neymar led Barca in the absence of the injured Lionel Messi but while they had plenty of possession they lacked a cutting edge in the first half.

Neymar was again the provider after 64 minutes for Rakitic who sealed the win with a clinical finish past keeper Sergey Chernik. Barca have seven points from three games and BATE have three.

Bayer Leverkusen squandered a two-goal lead but scored twice in the final minutes to rescue a 4-4 draw against AS Roma in their entertaining Group E match.

Mexico forward Javier Hernandez struck twice for the hosts, including a fourth minute penalty as Leverkusen looked to be cruising to victory and the Italians suffering a horror start.

But De Rossi, who also scored on Saturday to mark his 500th appearance for the club in their 3-1 win over Empoli, twice caught the defence napping to level.

Bosnian Miralem Pjanic curled in a free kick in the 54th to put them ahead and substitute Iago Falque thought he had won it for the Italians before goals from Kevin Kampl in the 84th and Admir Mehmedi in the 86th drew the hosts level.

Leverkusen remain second on four points with Roma bottom on two.

In Group F, Olympiacos continues their impressive away form by beating Dynamo Zagreb to stay three points ahead of Arsenal.

Elsewhere, Porto kept up the pressure on Chelsea with a 2-0 win over Maccabi Tel Aviv, thanks to first-half goal from Vincent Aboubakar and Yacine Brahimi.

In Group H, Zenit St Petersburg beat Lyon 3-1 to stay top of the table while Valencia saw off Ghent 2-1 at the Mestalla Stadium.

Promoted articles

Entertainment News