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Rediff.com  » Sports » Barca crush Wisla

Barca crush Wisla

August 14, 2008 09:25 IST

Pep Guardiola got off to a winning start as Barcelona coach with a comfortable 4-0 home victory over Wisla Krakow in their Champions League third qualifying round first leg on Wednesday.

Guardiola said on Tuesday that he had changed his mind and would hang on to transfer-listed Samuel Eto'o and the Cameroon striker duly responded with a brace.

Rafael Marquez's diagonal pass sent Eto'o clear to slip the ball inside the far post for the opener after 18 minutes and it was no surprise when Spain midfielder Xavi added the second seven minutes later.

France striker Thierry Henry had had a header saved on the line and had curled a shot just wide of the post before jinking away from three defenders to set up Xavi, who fired in off the post from outside the area.

Wisla, who knocked out Beitar Jerusalem 6-2 on aggregate in the last round, unsettled the Barca defence with the occasional counter-attack but the home side's grip on the game was not shaken.

Lionel Messi, who is representing Argentina at the Olympics in Beijing, was not missed and the 2006 Champions League winners made it 3-0 after the interval.

Latching on to Eto'o's lay-off, Henry's first touch left his marker sprawling and he deftly lifted the ball over the advancing keeper for the pick of the goals.

Barca missed a host of chances to add to the scores until Andres Iniesta picked out Eto'o's run for the striker to steal his second with seven minutes to go.

The return leg is in Poland on August 27.