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FC Barcelona News: 18 September 2014; Barça Start Champions League Campaign With Win, Sergi Roberto Extended

David Ramos

FC Barcelona - APOEL FC: Winning start (1-0) | FC Barcelona
Luis Enrique was able to celebrate his managerial debut in the Champions League with three points, but just as he had warned beforehand, the APOEL Nicosia presented a far tougher challenge than many had predicted. Despite dominating almost of the play, Barça only found the net once, a Gerard Piqué header after 27 minutes.

European debut - five key points | FC Barcelona
The manager opted for no fewer than nine changes with respect to the team that beat Bilbao at the weekend. Only Messi and Munir ‘survived’ from Saturday. Luis Enrique also handed Ter Stegen and Samper first team debuts, and also fielded five other players that hadn’t stared a match yet this season (Bartra, Adriano, Xavi, Sergi Roberto and Neymar Jr).

Xavi lauds Luis Enrique's approach | FC Barcelona
On Wednesday night Barça started off on the right foot in the 2014/2015 UEFA Champions League, coming away with a 1-0 win against APOEL Nicosia. Xavi Hernandez played a central role in the victory, his 142nd career match in European competitions. It was also his first start of the season.

Luis Enrique: "I have total faith in my players" | FC Barcelona
First Champions League game and first win. "We found it hard to make the right choices over the final metres" said Luis Enrique, who was nevertheless positive about his side’s one goal victory against APOEL. "We have great, quality players but we didn’t get through on goal for a variety of reasons. We weren’t at our best over the final metres. We weren’t moving the ball around fast enough."

Samper shines in debut | FC Barcelona
Sergi Samper's dreams came true on Wednesday night, making his first appearance for FC Barcelona. And it was a night he won't be forgetting anytime soon. It was early Wednesday morning when Luis Enrique announced who would be dressing for the match. Samper's name was called. The Barça B midfielder, who has played for the club since he was six years old, was finally getting his shot.

Samper shows he's La Masia's latest jewel -
There's a new name on the lips of the Camp Nou congregation. The 60,000 or so supporters who watched Barcelona beat APOEL 1-0 in their side's largely forgettable first Champions League clash under Luis Enrique won't go home talking about the match. But they will be privileged to have witnessed the birth of La Masia's latest great: Sergi Samper.

Players react to Champions League opener | FC Barcelona
Players react to Champions League opener

Argreement to extend Sergi Roberto's contract to June 30, 2019 | FC Barcelona
FC Barcelona has reached an agreement with Sergi Roberto to renew his contract, which expires on June 30, 2015, until June 30, 2019. The release clause has been set at 30 million euros, which could rise to 40 million.

Atletico Madrid striker Mario Mandzukic has surgery on broken nose - ESPN FC
Diego Simeone is unlikely to have Mandzukic available for this Saturday's home La Liga clash against Celta Vigo though the Croatian is expected to return to training next week and should recover in time to face Juventus in the Rojiblancos' second Champions League Group A fixture on Oct 1.

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