NEWS
Tuesday October 2 2012
Barcelona seal routine win

Goals from Alexis Sanchez and Cesc Fabregas were enough to give Barcelona a comfortable 2-0 victory over Benfica.

A first half strike from the Chile international was doubled by the former Arsenal man, with the only dampeners on the night coming when Carles Puyol had to be stretchered off and when Sergio Busquets was sent off, both late on.

The Blaugrana named a virtually unchanged side from the one that defeated Sevilla on Sunday, and within minutes, they had gone ahead. Lionel Messi showed his dribbling skills down the left, before putting a cross in to Sanchez, who tapped it home from six yards.

The Portuguese side were unperturbed though, and came back into the game strongly, with Victor Valdes having to make a good save from a Lima shot.

It was clear to see that the Aguias were happy for Tito Vilanova's side to have the majority of possession, but eventually that monopoly of the play culminated in goalscoring chances

First Messi and then Sanchez were denied by Artur, but the Catalan side had to content themselves with going into the break just a solitary goal up.

The introduction of Carlos Martins at half-time gave Benfica slightly more dynamism in the middle of the park, but still the Camp Nou side were dominant with the ball during the opening stage of the second period.

Possession soon turned to chances though, and on 55 minutes it was 2-0. Messi, again, turned provider, as he slipped a pass into Fabregas, who blasted it in at the goalkeeper's near post.

Barcelona remained comfortable through until full time, with their spirits dampened only when captain Puyol had to come off after landing awkwardly on his shoulder, and when Busquets was sent off for clashing with Maxi Pereira.

Benfica 0-2 Barcelona

Scorers: Sanchez 6 (Bar), Fabregas 55 (Bar)

Benfica: Artur; Maxi Pereira, Garay, Jardel, Melgarejo; Gaitan (Nolito 75), Matic, Bruno Cesar (Carlos Martins 46), Perez (Aimar 60), Salvio; Lima

Barcelona: Valdes; Alves, Puyol (Song 78), Mascherano, Alba; Xavi, Busquets, Fabregas (Iniesta 72); Sanchez, Messi, Pedro (Villa 81)

Referee: Cunyet Cakir (TUR)

Busquets sent off 88 (Bar)

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