Champions League - Group F
Barcelona1Apoel Nicosia0

Barcelona 1-0 Apoel Nicosia

Barcelona defender Gerard Pique heads his team ahead against Apoel Nicosia in the Champions League
Barcelona defender Gerard Pique heads his team ahead against Apoel Nicosia

Barcelona made a winning start to their Champions League campaign as they edged past Apoel Nicosia at the Nou Camp.

Gerard Pique's header from Lionel Messi's inswinging free-kick was enough to beat the champions of Cyprus.

Apoel keeper Urko Pardo made two fine saves to deny Messi on a frustrating night for the hosts in Spain.

Elsewhere, Roma hammered CSKA Moscow 5-1 and Yacine Brahimi scored a hat-trick as Porto thrashed Belarusian champions Bate Borosov 6-0.

Champions League group-stage facts
Gervinho has scored as many goals in one Champions League game for Roma as he did in 11 matches for Arsenal.
Porto have scored five goals in a Champions League game for the first time since March 1994.
Roma have scored five goals in a Champions League game for the first time.

Barcelona started with three-time Champions League winner Andres Iniesta on the substitutes' bench.

But the likes of Messi, Neymar and Dani Alves made hard work of overcoming a stubborn Apoel side.

The all-important goal came in the 28th minute, former Manchester United player Pique nodding home from six yards after connecting with Messi's set-piece.

It required a full-stretch save from debutant keeper Marc-Andre Ter Stegen to deny Apoel's Gustavo Manduca a dramatic stoppage-time equaliser.

Barcelona's Group F rivals Paris St-Germain and Ajax drew 1-1 in Amsterdam.

Edinson Cavani had given the French champions the lead only for Lasse Schone to equalise in the 74th minute.

Ajax v Paris St-Germain
Edinson Cavani joined Paris St-Germain from Napoli in 2013

Roma made up for lost time as they marked their return to the Champions League group stages after a three-year absence with an emphatic 5-1 victory over CSKA Moscow.

Former Arsenal striker Gervinho scored twice as the Russian champions trailed 4-0 at the interval in Rome.

Juan Iturbe, Maicon and an own goal by Sergei Ignashevich completed the scoring, while Ahmed Musa netted a consolation for CSKA.

Roma striker Gervinho celebrates scoring against CSKA Moscow
Gervinho scored as many goals in one Champions League game for Roma as he did in 11 matches for Arsenal.

The match was stopped for two minutes in the 71st minute when CSKA supporters began throwing flares at Roma fans and riot police had to intervene.

Ex-England and Chelsea left-back Ashley Cole was an unused substitute for Roma, who travel to Manchester City next on 30 September.

Porto's Yacine Brahimi celebrates scoring against Bate Borisov
Yacine Brahimi played for Algeria at the 2014 World Cup finals

The biggest scorers of the night were Porto as Bate Borisov were crushed 6-0 in Portugal.

They were inspired by Brahimi, the Algeria World Cup winger helping himself to three goals.

Jackson Martinez, Adrian Lopez and Vincent Aboubakar also scored.

There was a dramatic finish in Slovenia where Maribor scored a stoppage-time equaliser to deny Sporting Lisbon victory in the same group as Chelsea.

Nani, on loan from Manchester United, looked to have earned the Portuguese club all three points with a fabulous 20-yard strike until Luka Zahovic sent home fans into raptures as he made it 1-1.

Athletic Bilbao, in the group stages for the first time in 16 years, were held to a 0-0 draw at home to Ukrainian champions Shakhtar Donetsk.

Line-ups

Barcelona

  • 1ter Stegen
  • 22Dani Alves
  • 3Piqué
  • 21Adriano
  • 15Bartra
  • 6XaviSubstituted forIniestaat 61'minutes
  • 20SergiSubstituted forRafinhaat 79'minutes
  • 26Samper
  • 31El HaddadiSubstituted forRamírezat 68'minutes
  • 10Messi
  • 11Neymar

Substitutes

  • 4Rakitic
  • 8Iniesta
  • 12Rafinha
  • 13Bravo
  • 16Pereira dos Santos
  • 24Mathieu
  • 29Ramírez

Apoel Nicosia

  • 78Pardo
  • 28Sérgio
  • 3Leme Amorim
  • 15AntoniadesBooked at 27mins
  • 5da Cruz Júnior
  • 46Aloneftis
  • 16Oliveira FrancoBooked at 11mins
  • 8Figueiras GomesSubstituted forManducaat 61'minutes
  • 26Morais
  • 9SheridanSubstituted forDjebbourat 75'minutes
  • 30De VincentiSubstituted forCharalambidisat 79'minutes

Substitutes

  • 4Artymatas
  • 10Charalambidis
  • 11Alexandrou
  • 21Manduca
  • 22Chiotis
  • 73Bezerra Da Silva
  • 79Djebbour
Referee:
Deniz Aytekin
Attendance:
62,832

Match Stats

Home TeamBarcelonaAway TeamApoel Nicosia
Possession
Home71%
Away29%
Shots
Home18
Away4
Shots on Target
Home7
Away1
Corners
Home8
Away4
Fouls
Home15
Away12

Live Text

Match ends, Barcelona 1, APOEL Nicosia 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Barcelona 1, APOEL Nicosia 0.

Corner, APOEL Nicosia. Conceded by Marc-André ter Stegen.

Attempt saved. Gustavo Manduca (APOEL Nicosia) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Rafik Djebbour.

Attempt blocked. Lionel Messi (Barcelona) left footed shot from very close range is blocked.

Attempt saved. Neymar (Barcelona) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Attempt blocked. Lionel Messi (Barcelona) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Neymar.

Attempt missed. Sandro Ramírez (Barcelona) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Sergi Samper.

Corner, APOEL Nicosia. Conceded by Marc Bartra.

Foul by Andrés Iniesta (Barcelona).

Gustavo Manduca (APOEL Nicosia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Offside, APOEL Nicosia. Mário Sérgio tries a through ball, but Konstantinos Charalambidis is caught offside.

Foul by Neymar (Barcelona).

Vinicius (APOEL Nicosia) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Offside, Barcelona. Adriano tries a through ball, but Sandro Ramírez is caught offside.

Substitution

Substitution, Barcelona. Rafinha replaces Sergi Roberto.

Substitution

Substitution, APOEL Nicosia. Konstantinos Charalambidis replaces Tomás De Vincenti.

Attempt missed. Tomás De Vincenti (APOEL Nicosia) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Gustavo Manduca following a fast break.

Dani Alves (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Rafik Djebbour (APOEL Nicosia).

Foul by Gerard Piqué (Barcelona).

Carlao (APOEL Nicosia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt missed. Sandro Ramírez (Barcelona) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right misses to the right. Assisted by Andrés Iniesta with a through ball.

Substitution

Substitution, APOEL Nicosia. Rafik Djebbour replaces Cillian Sheridan.

Attempt missed. Lionel Messi (Barcelona) left footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the left.

Neymar (Barcelona) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by João Guilherme (APOEL Nicosia).

Foul by Sergi Samper (Barcelona).

Gustavo Manduca (APOEL Nicosia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt blocked. Adriano (Barcelona) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Lionel Messi.

Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Mário Sérgio.

Substitution

Substitution, Barcelona. Sandro Ramírez replaces Munir El Haddadi.

Offside, Barcelona. Neymar tries a through ball, but Munir El Haddadi is caught offside.

Attempt missed. Neymar (Barcelona) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Dani Alves with a cross.

Attempt saved. Adriano (Barcelona) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Lionel Messi.

Munir El Haddadi (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Mário Sérgio (APOEL Nicosia).

Corner, APOEL Nicosia. Conceded by Dani Alves.

Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Carlao.

Substitution

Substitution, APOEL Nicosia. Gustavo Manduca replaces Tiago Gomes.

goal

As It Stood

A

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Juventus11002023
2Olympiakos11003213
3Atl Madrid100123-10
4Malmö FF100102-20

B

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Real Madrid11005143
2Liverpool11002113
3Ludogorets100112-10
4FC Basel100115-40

C

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Zenit St Petersburg11002023
2Monaco11001013
3B Leverkusen100101-10
4Benfica100102-20

D

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1B Dortmund11002023
2Anderlecht10101101
3Galatasaray10101101
4Arsenal100102-20

E

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Roma11005143
2Bayern Munich11001013
3Man City100101-10
4CSKA Moscow100115-40

F

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Barcelona11001013
2PSG10101101
3Ajax10101101
4Apoel Nicosia100101-10

G

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Schalke10101101
2Sporting10101101
3Chelsea10101101
4NK Maribor10101101

H

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1FC Porto11006063
2Ath Bilbao10100001
3Shakhtar Donetsk10100001
4BATE Borisov100106-60
View full Champions League tables

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