Two below-par performances, two 1-0 wins and Barcelona are through to the Champions League semi-finals in the most unconvincing fashion.
Not to begrudge them their victories – they took their chances (few as they were) and Schalke made a hash of the many that fell their way. And there’s still time for Barcelona to improve before they take on English champions Manchester United in the semi-finals in 2 weeks.
You can get the full match report here (whenever Nic Aldam puts it up), and the semi-final previews should be up next week.
First Leg: Schalke 0-1 Barcelona – Bojan’s goal gives Rijkaard more time to turn things around
Bojan’s 12th minute goal (courtesy of an Iniesta-Henry move and a slight blunder by Schalke keeper Neuer) was enough to separate the two sides (despite that penalty appeal) as Schalke paid for their inability to capitalise on their possession and chances.
Rijkaard will be happy with the 1-goal advantage, partially because it makes the return leg that much easier and also because the Spanish press had their knives sharpened and ready to cut him if he lost, and this win (and the subsequent progression to the Champions League semifinals gives him some time to fix matters at the club.
It’s game on for both sides in the second leg, and with only 1 goal separating the two sides it promised to be a more open game (and certainly one with more goals) next Wednesday at Camp Nou.
For a full match review, see Nicholas Aldam’s report over at FC Barcelona blog.
Catch match highlights here.