Barca crush Shakhtar to close in on semi-finals
Barcelona seized control of their Champions League quarter-final against Shakhtar Donetsk when an early Andres Iniesta strike paved the way for a 5-1 first-leg victory at the Nou Camp on Wednesday.
The Spain midfielder punished a defensive error by the Ukrainian side in the second minute when he picked up a loose ball and burst through to finish low inside the near post.
Brazil fullback Daniel Alves raced through unmarked to Iniesta's curled pass to double the home side's lead in the 34th minute and centre half Gerard Pique made it 3-0 eight minutes after halftime with a deflected shot from a corner.
Image: Barcelona's Andres Iniesta (left) celebrates with team-mate David Villa after scoring against Shakhtar Donetsk
Keita, Xavi join goal feast
Yaroslav Rakitskiy briefly checked Barca's domination in the 59th minute when he flicked the ball past Victor Valdes but Seydou Keita smashed the ball into the top corner from the edge of the area a minute later.
Xavi tapped in the fifth after 86 minutes to make what had looked a potentially tricky second leg in Donetsk appear a formality as a semi-final between 2009 champions Barca and arch rivals Real Madrid looms.
Real also have one foot in the semis after a 4-0 thrashing of Tottenham Hotspur at the Bernabeu on Tuesday.
Image: Barcelona's Seydou Keita celebrates after scoring against Shakhtar Donetsk
Only Luiz Adriano looked positive for Shakhtar
Shakhtar, the 2009 Europa League winners, briefly threatened the Barca goal after falling behind but were fortunate in the end not to suffer a greater margin of defeat as the hosts rained in shots at their goals.
Luiz Adriano, who also hit the post late on, sped through on goal in the 12th minute but sent a weak shot wide and Willian narrowly missed the target a minute later with a long-range effort when Valdes was caught off his line.
However, they proved incapable of stemming the tide flowing in the other direction as Barca delivered another masterclass of attacking football which did not even require a goal contribution from Argentine goal-machine Lionel Messi.
Image: Shakhtar Donetsk's Luiz Adriano hangs on the crossbar after missing a scoring opportunity
Rooney goal at Chelsea tips quarter-final United's way
Wayne Rooney sidefooted a superb first-half goal to give Manchester United a 1-0 win at Chelsea to tip the balance of the Champions League quarter-final their way after an impressive first leg victory on Wednesday.
Rooney, facing an FA charge for swearing live on TV last Saturday which could see him banned for two domestic matches, let his feet do the talking with a sweetly-struck 24th minute goal off the post after a flowing United build-up.
United dominated the match for long periods with Rooney providing much of their inspiration in midfield and attack to leave Chelsea a huge task of saving the tie in the second leg at Old Trafford next Wednesday.
Image: Manchester United's Wayne Rooney celebrates after scoring against Chelsea
Chelsea were flat throughout
With their title probably heading to Old Trafford and the European Cup their only realistic chance of a trophy this season, Chelsea were flat for long periods, and came closest to a goal when Frank Lampard saw his shot cleared off the line just before halftime by Patrice Evra.
United, who had not won at Stamford Bridge for 10 matches since 2003 but beat Chelsea to win the Champions League in the 2008 final on penalties, dominated with Rooney at the heart of much of their invention with some crisp passes and link-up play.
With Rio Ferdinand reinforcing United's defence after 11 matches out with a calf injury, United looked composed at the back and inspired down the wings in attack and at one point laid siege to Chelsea's goal with the home defence just about managing to keep United at bay.
Although United deserved to go in ahead at the break, Chelsea almost equalised just before the interval.
Drogba played in a ball from the left to Fernando Torres, who, failing to get the touch that could have brought him his first goal for the club, saw the ball bounce back off Edwin Van der Sar's far post to Lampard.
Image: Manchester United's Rio Ferdinand (right) clashes with Chelsea's Fernando Torres
Chelsea looked sharper in the second half
The England midfielder, playing his 500th match for Chelsea, followed up the rebound only to see his effort cleared off the line by Evra.
The goal came after Michael Carrick found Ryan Giggs wide on the left before the 37-year-old found Rooney with his pass which the combative striker neatly steered home of the post.
Chelsea looked more dangerous as the second half progressed, and put United under more pressure in the closing stages.
Their pressure appeared to have paid off in stoppage time when they had a strong appeal for a penalty turned down by Spanish referee Alberto Undiano Mallenco after Evra appeared to bring down Ramires.
Moments later Torres's miserable night ended with a booking when his name went into the referee's book for diving in the box.
Image: Manchester United's Park Ji-Sung is tackled by Chelsea's Ashley Cole (right)