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Barcelona Defeats Shakhtar 2-1 To Remain Perfect In Champions League

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Barcelona defeated Shakhtar Donetsk 2-1 at home thanks to goals in the first half from Ferran Torres and Fermin Lopez in their Champions League Group H match on Wednesday night.

Despite missing a number of important players because of injuries and bans, the home team dominated from the off and took the lead in the 28th minute with a volley from Torres off a rebound after 20-year-old Lopez’s close-range effort crashed against the right post.

When Lopez scored from within the box, it was initially determined by a VAR assessment that he was onside, despite there having been a whiff of offside during the build-up.

With midfielder Gavi suspended for a red card in their win against FC Porto, and without the injured Robert Lewandowski, Raphinha, Sergi Roberto, Frenkie de Jong, Jules Koundé, and Pedri, Barca manager Xavi Hernandez called up eight academy players, including Lopez, who is starting to establish himself in the starting lineup.

In the 36th, he extended Barca’s advantage with a thundering strike that ricocheted against the left post on its way in, causing all sorts of problems for Shakhtar.

After that, Barca wasted multiple opportunities to increase their lead. Lopez struck the crossbar twice more and had two goals disallowed by VAR for close offsides.

Georgiy Sudakov, a midfielder for Shakhtar, narrowed the lead in the 62nd minute with a well-executed counterattack, but Barcelona held on for their third straight victory in spite of late pressure.

With nine points, Barca leads Porto, who have a game in hand and will visit bottom-place Antwerp on Wednesday; the Belgian team has not yet earned a point. With three points, Shakhtar are in third place.

On Saturday, Barcelona will play host to Real Madrid in the first La Liga Clasico.

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