Did Barcelona Shaft Shakhtar?

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Was the Ukrainian side Shakhtar shafted by Barcelona? One of their players went down and they were expecting Barcelona to play the ball out of bounds. Instead, the ball was played down the line to Bojan and he swung the ball across the goalmouth on the ground and the keeper bobbled it right to an incoming Messi. A gift goal.

Then, in stoppage time, after a sublime Xavi pass put Messi one on one with the keeper, he smartly chipped the keeper to give Barcelona the 2-1 win. Game over.

Here’s the video of the goals in this Champions League game:

There is controversy: Shakhtar wanted the ball put out of play for one of their men to receive treatment as the youngster took possession on the right flank. Webb waved play on and the ball arrived – and Messi was in the right place at the right time again to rescue his team. Brandao booked for his protestations.

But it looks like Howard Webb, the games referee, waived play on, so their protestations were unjustified.

However, if this game was in Barcelona, at the Camp Nou, there’s no way this would have happened if roles were reversed. I’ve been unable to find a video that shows the play clearly, when the Shakhtar player actually went down, but it all seems a bit fishy to me.

Barcelona of course is one of my favorite teams. Who can’t like them really, what with Messi, Etoo, Xavi, and Iniesta, but this does put a questionable slant on their tactics.

Barcelona is just coming off another last minute win against Espanol, where their fans were accused of throwing flares into the Espanol supporters section. Play was stopped for ten minutes and Messi scored a late penalty to win the game. I guess, if anything, good teams find a way to win and you’ve got to tip your hats to Barcelona for not giving up. And, there’s no doubt that Lionel Messi is the best footballer in the world right now.

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