Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona celebrates scoring his second goal with his teammates Pedro Rodriguez and David Villa during the la Liga match between FC Barcelona and Racing Santander at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain. Barcelona play Viktoria Plzen in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday, October 18, 2011. (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)

Barcelona Vs. Viktoria Plzen, 2011 UEFA Champions League: Home Side Win 2-0

FC Barcelona defeated Viktoria Plzen rather easily, though the Czech champions defended well to make things difficult for the Blaugranes.

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Barcelona Vs. Viktoria Plzen, 2011 UEFA Champions League: Full Time, Blaugranes Frustrated But Win Comfortably

Viktoria Plzen did not create a single shot and only had 23 percent of the possession, but this was not a typical dominant FC Barcelona performance. The Blaugranas were made to work for most of the game, as the Czech champions defended expertly for the majority of the game, keeping Barcelona from capitalizing on their possession and chances for the most part. In a group where goal differential could be the deciding factor between Plzen and BATE Borisov for a place in the Europa League knockout stages, the visitors will likely go home please with their respectable 2-0 loss at the Camp Nou.

Andres Iniesta scored a brilliant opener in the 10th minute, but Barcelona failed to create clear-cut chances afterwards, and were regularly off target with their half chances. They could and should have been up by a higher margin at halftime, but walked into the locker room up just 1-0, leaving many wondering if Plzen could nick a garbage goal on the counter and rob a point from their opponents.

To start the second half, Plzen were much better, defending expertly and stopping Barcelona from creating chances. The breakthrough came eventually, though, and the Blaugranas sealed their win in the 82nd minute. Lionel Messi had a close-range shot saved by Marek Cech after running onto a pass by David Villa, but the striker followed up his pass and pounced on the rebound, shooting into an open net to clinch the three points for Barcelona.

For more on Barcelona vs. Victoria Plzen and anything else about the Blaugranas, check out FC Barcelona blog Barca Blaugranes.

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Barcelona Vs. Viktoria Plzen, 2011 UEFA Champions League: Halftime, Blaugranas Somehow Only Up By One

Barcelona lead Viktoria Plzen by a score of 1-0 at halftime in their UEFA Champions League encounter, but how this match has produced so few goals, no one is going to be able to explain. It appears that the Blaugranas were attempting to break the world record for side netting hits in a 45 minute period. I don't have a book of football records in front of me, but I am fairly certain they accomplished this goal.

Andres Iniesta scored the match's only goal in the 10th minute, finishing on a half-volley after a great combination with Lionel Messi and some lovely skill to get himself in a perfect shooting position. It was one of about 10 clear-cut scoring chances for Barcelona in the first half, and it was somehow the only one they were able to capitalize on.

Plzen created zero shots, but look on the bright side! They were able to win 27 percent of the possession, which is about seven percent better than anyone could have reasonably expected.

For more on Barcelona vs. Victoria Plzen and anything else about the Blaugranas, check out FC Barcelona blog Barca Blaugranes.

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Barcelona Vs. Viktoria Plzen, 2011 UEFA Champions League: Andres Iniesta Goal Has Blaugranas Ahead

FC Barcelona have a massive La Liga match against Sevilla on the weekend, they're at home in the Camp Nou, and Viktoria Plzen are struggling. So, of course Pep Guardiola has selected a first choice team! Barcelona lead the defending Czech champions 1-0 early on in the first half, and they could very easily have three or four goals. Plzen don't even look like they're going to get much down out on the counter, and it wouldn't be shocking to see Barca finish with 80 percent possession.

Lionel Messi and Andres Iniesta combined for the goal, with Iniesta finishing off the chance. The two players played a brilliant combination of one touch passes before Iniesta juggled the ball around his defender and set himself up for a half-volley finish from the middle of the penalty area. It was a move that took a lot of skill, but it looked entirely too easy.

For more on Barcelona vs. Victoria Plzen and anything else about the Blaugranas, check out FC Barcelona blog Barca Blaugranes.

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Barcelona Vs. Viktoria Plzen, 2011 UEFA Champions League: Barca Blaugranes Is Unsurprisingly Optimistic

Viktoria Plzen have struggled in their first two matches in the UEFA Champions League. They're also struggling domestically in the Czech Republic, at least compared to the way they played last season. Barcelona, meanwhile, are in superb form in La Liga and steamrolled BATE Borisov 5-0 in the previous round of fixtures. There's a pretty good chance that you see where this is going. FC Barcelona blog Barca Blaugranes expects nothing less than utter domination at the Camp Nou on Wednesday, even if Barca doesn't play their first team.

FC Barcelona will be seeing a lot of the ball again [Wednesday], and if the start of the season is anything to go by they are getting even better at utilising it fully. With figures routinely hitting 80%, Barca are maintaining a high level of chance creation, something that could not be applied to previous matches with the same figures of possession (Real Madrid last season). But that's a story for another day.

Match Prediction: Barcelona to grab an early goal, say around the 15 minute mark, and to keep chipping away until they feel comfortable enough to conserve energy. Expect at least three or four goals in this one, and of course, Lionel Messi to be getting his share.

Yep, that sounds about right. This could get interesting if Plzen hold firm for 30-plus minutes, then nick a goal on a set piece or a counter-attack, but that doesn't seem terribly likely. 

For more on Barcelona vs. Victoria Plzen and anything else about the Blaugranas, check out FC Barcelona blog Barca Blaugranes.

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Barcelona Vs. Viktoria Plzen, 2011 UEFA Champions League Matchday 3 Preview: Cules Expect Easy Victory

FC Barcelona will be heavy favorites when they host Viktoria Plzen in the UEFA Champions League

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