Barcelona had to come back from 2-1 down to overcome a spirited Spartak Moscow side in their Champions League clash at the Camp Nou.
Tito Vilanova’s men suffered an early blow when Gerard Pique limped off with an ankle injury on 10 minutes to be replaced by Alex Song. However, the Catalans took the lead just three minutes later, CristianTello cutting inside from the left to finish clinically from the edge of the box.
Lionel Messi then went close with a curling effort but the visitors stunned the hosts with an equaliser nine minutes later, the unfortunate Dani Alves diverting Emmanuel Emenike’s low right-wing cross into his own goal past a helpless Victor Valdes.
Cesc Fabregas almost restored the advantage but his header was turned over by goalkeeper Andriy Dykan, yet despite their territorial domination Barca had to be content with a share of the spoils at the break.
Dani Alves thought he had got a second for La Blaugrana five minutes after the restart but his effort was correctly ruled out for offside. Amazingly, seconds after Dykan had saved from Messi just short of the hour mark, the Russians went straight to the other end and scored courtesy of Brazilian international Romulo, who fired home a low shot from inside the area.
Nonetheless, the lead lasted 10 minutes as Tello got down the by-line and pulled the ball back for Messi, who had been largely ineffectual, to score from close range to make it 2-2.
The Argentine was on target again 10 minutes from time when he headed home a cross from substitute Alexis Sanchez for the winner on what at times proved to be an uncomfortable evening for Barcelona.
Barcelona 3-2 Spartak Moscow
Scorers: Tello 14 (B) Dani Alves og 29 (S), Romulo 59 (S), Messi 70, 80 (B)
Barcelona: Valdes; Alves (Alexis Sanchez 63), Pique (Song 10), Mascherano, Adriano; Xavi, Busquets, Fabregas; Pedro, Messi, Tello (Villa 73)
Spartak Moscow: Dykan; Insaurralde, K.Kombarov (Makeev 46), Suchy, Carioca; McGeady, Kallstrom (Jurado 78), D. Komarov, Romulo; Ari (Dzyuba 83), Emenike
Ref: Milorad Mazic (Serbia)