Barcelona takes control of tie with 5-1 win over Shakhtar
Andres Iniesta scored one goal and set up another Wednesday as Barcelona thrashed Shakhtar Donetsk 5-1 in the first leg of the Champions League quarterfinals.
Iniesta gathered Lionel Messi's threaded pass before beating goalkeeper Andriy Pyatov in the second minute at Camp Nou Stadium.
Iniesta found Daniel Alves inside the area for the second in the 34th minute, before defender Gerard Pique struck his second goal in as many games in the 53rd.
Yaroslav Rakitskiy gave the Ukrainian team an away goal, shooting past goalkeeper Victor Valdes in the 60th.
But Seydou Keita restored the Spanish champions' three-goal advantage a minute later, rifling a shot beyond Pyatov into the top corner, and Xavi Hernandez completed the rout in the 86th minute.
It was the 10th time this season that Barcelona had scored at least five goals in a match. Barcelona has hit 132 goals to their opponents' 30 in all competitions this campaign.
Barcelona's emphatic victory improved the likelihood of four upcoming matches against Real Madrid after Jose Mourinho's team beat Tottenham 4-0 in the first leg on Tuesday.
The Spanish rivals, who would meet in the semifinals, are also pitted against each other in the Copa del Rey final later this month, plus clash in the league.
The hosts' early opening goal came somewhat against the run of play, the Ukrainian team missing a number of chances in what was a rematch of the 2009 European Supercup final that was won by Barcelona.
Iniesta picked up a pass from Messi intended for David Villa and eluded several defenders before rolling the ball past Pyatov from a tight angle. It was Iniesta's first European goal since his injury-time equalizer against Chelsea that took the eventual champions into the 2009 final.
Instead of immediately succumbing, however, Shakhtar responded with two clear-cut chances from its speedy Brazilian forwards.
Luiz Adriano shot wide after a counterattack with Valdes beaten in the 12th minute, and Willian lobbed just past the post from well outside the area with the Barcelona goalkeeper off his line following Daniel Alves' poor back pass.
Messi helped calm the hosts' defensive jitters with a free kick that just missed and a shot claimed by Pyatov as Barcelona started to take control.
Messi then drew three defenders before laying off for Dani Alves to waste a clear chance, while soon after Villa beat Pyatov with a low shot that rolled wide of the far post.
Barcelona struck its second when Iniesta matched Daniel Alves' run with a perfectly timed pass into the area, the Brazil right back controlling the ball to evade Pyatov before poking it into the empty goal.
Pique, partnered by defensive midfielder Sergio in the center of defense with Carles Puyol still sidelined, made up for any early nerves by connecting with Xavi's swinging corner with Rakitskiy's slight touch deflecting the ball past Pyatov and into the goal.
Rakitskiy soon made amends, using his leg to change the trajectory of Dario Srna's free kick for the ball to bounce under Valdes and inside the far post.
But Keita replied immediately. The Mali midfielder running on to Messi's laid-off pass before calmly firing a rising shot into the roof of goal from just inside the area.
Moments after Luiz Adriano's shot came off the post, Daniel Alves was free inside the area to slide a pass for Xavi to bury his shot.
The return leg is played Tuesday.