Barcelona travelled to Stuttgart whilst Olympiakos hosted Bordeux as two more ties kicked off in the knockout stages of the Champions League.
Barcelona have looked indestructible – as always – this season and the game against Germans Stuttgart was one that no one expected them to struggle in.
The Catalonians didn’t have it too easy though and they couldn’t find their feet in the first half. Cacau climbed above Puyol to head in at the far post and give the Germans the lead on twenty-five minutes and Stuttgart then went on to miss chance after chance to double their lead. They were also denied a couple of penalty claims before Messi nearly equalized – his shot pushed against the post by Lehman.
Barcelona settled their nerves in the second half and had clearly been given a drumming in the dressing room. They came out looking like the champions they are and within seven minutes Ibrahimovic had equalized, beating Lehman at the second attempt with a point blank shot.
Barcelona threatened to walk away with the game over the next twenty minutes but they couldn’t find a goal and instead settled for a game of keep-ball. Their passing play frustrated the home fans and the home team, but held the scores at 1-1; keeping things nicely poised for the champions in the second leg.
Greek champions Olympiakos were looking for a home win to settle their knockout tie against French side Bordeaux, but it just wasn’t their night. Ciani scored for the away side in first half stoppage time and despite a decent effort, Olympiakos couldn’t get back into the game which ended 0-1, leaving them with a lot to do in the second leg.
CSKA Moscow will be playing Sevilla tomorrow whilst Inter Milan will host Chelsea in what promises to be the biggest tie of the knockout stages so far, as Chelsea’s old messiah Jose Mourinho threatens to destroy the Blues with his new team of superstars.
The odds are looking tasty for Inter Milan to win the first leg – which I think they will do.