Barcelona and Sporting played one of the worst games in Champions League history at the Camp Nou on Tuesday. The Blaugrana won 2-0 with a goal from a set piece and an own goal, which were the two highlights of the entire 90 minutes. At least Barça have qualified for the next round as group winners without a single loss but this was very, very difficult to watch and/or get excited about.
Man of the Match of the First Half: Me, for watching every second of it. This was boring, bad and unwatchable for 45 minutes. Hopefully the second half would be somewhat better.
The second half started just as boring as the first, with Sporting making personnel and formation changes but not being able to threaten the Barça defense. The Blaugrana couldn’t really get it going when they had the ball, but after 15 minutes they won a corner that Paco Alcácer smartly flicked at the near post to put Barça in front.
Sporting nearly equalized immediately after Barça’s goal when Bas Dost was found alone in the box, but Jasper Cillessen made an unbelievable reaction save and kept Barça ahead. As the Portuguese side looked likely to score, Lionel Messi came on and took control of the game, dominating possession and creating loads of chances.
And Barça got a second thanks to an own goal by former Barça defender Jérémy Mathieu, and the game finally ended with a 2-0 scoreline that perfectly reflects just awful this was.
Barcelona: Cillessen; Semedo, Piqué (Busquets), Vermaelen, Digne; Denis, Rakitic, Gomes; Vidal (Messi), Suárez (Paulinho), Alcácer
Goals: Alcácer (59’), Mathieu (90’+1)
Sporting: Patrício; Piccini, Coates, Mathieu, Acuña; Ristovski (Gelson), Battaglia, William, César (Coentrão); Fernandes, Ruiz (Dost)