(Adds Guardiola quotes)
DONETSK, Ukraine Oct 1 Lionel Messi scored
twice in the final minutes to give Barcelona an unlikely 2-1 win
away to Shakhtar Donetsk in their Champions League Group C match
The Argentine equalised in the 87th minute then scored a
brilliant chipped winner four minutes into stoppage time after
Barca had looked on their way to defeat.
"We already know what Messi is capable of doing," a happy
Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola was quoted as saying by Marca.
"Leo does the unexpected and is a very decisive player."
Barcelona lead the group with six points from two matches.
Sporting, who beat Basel 2-0 in Lisbon, are equal with Shakhtar
on three points and the Swiss side have none.
Brazilian winger Ilsinho put Shakhtar ahead in the last
minute of the first half when he ran on to Gerard Pique's poor
attempt at a headed clearance, slipped between two defenders
inside the box and confidently chipped over Victor Valdes.
Shakhtar had the better of the second half but a blunder by
goalkeeper Andriy Pyatov in the 87th minute allowed the Spanish
giants, who had lacked inspiration or penetration, back into the
Young Barcelona substitute forwards Messi and Bojan Krkic,
who had come on for Thierry Henry and Samuel Eto'o, combined for
the equaliser. Bojan crossed from deep on the right, Pyatov
spilt the ball and Messi pounced to put it in the net.
Eto'o should have equalised shortly after the hour when he
was put through by Messi but stumbled as he shaped to finish and
placed the ball wide of the near post.
Shakhtar's Croatian captain Darijo Srna could have put the
Ukrainian team two up in the 77th minute but his fierce shot
from the right after a corner was parried away by Valdes.
The unimpressive Henry was replaced by Messi in the 60th
minute after just one notable attempt at goal, a close shot
saved instinctively by Pyatov.
The result will be a huge disappointment for Shakhtar, who
started their group campaign with a 2-1 win away to Basel and
had beaten Barca 2-0 the previous time the teams met in Donetsk
in December 2004. Defeat adds to the woes of the Ukrainian
champions who are a lowly 11th in the domestic league.
(Reporting by Sabina Zawadzki, editing by Rex Gowar)