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28.11.2007 12:57

History repeated

Berta Brau

Olympique Lyonnais' Stade Gerland was the venue when FC Barcelona last named three forwards that all come through the club's youth ranks before Frank Rijkaard did so once again on Tuesday evening.

César Menotti named a trio of youngsters in his side during the 1983/84 season and this week Lionel Messi, Bojan Krkic and Andrés Iniesta all made a little slice of history for themselves as they played together up front. While Iniesta is normally seen alongside another youth team product in Xavi Hernández, Messi is now considered to be one of the more experienced forward with Bojan and Giovani Dos Santos the latest generation to come out of La Masia.

Goals galore

With the trio lining up together against Lyon they helped ensure Barça of a place in the next round of the Champions League as the 2-2 draw earned them first place in the group. For the opening goal Messi supplied Bojan and he sent over a sublime cross for Iniesta to slot home after just three minutes. In the second half, Messi was fouled in the area and rose to his feet to score the visitors' second.

A new precedent

img378.jpgA trident such as Messi, Bojan and Iniesta has not been seen at Barça since the 1983/84 campaign when Menotti named Rojo, Clos and Carrasco up front in the Stade Gerland.

That same year the three players helped Barça to a 5-2 win against Espanyol in the local derby and all of them played a key role in the victory. The Blaugrana and the Blanc i Blau are due to meet again this weekend.

Carrasco was the motor of the team with his stong runs down the wing and strong tackling, while Rojo helped to organise the play and was an integral part of the side. Finally, Paco Clos worked hard and helped to disrupt the Espanyol defence with his quick runs and depsite not scoring did have a hand in opening effort by Barcelona.
History repeated
Homegrown scorers
Iniesta's and Messi's goals this week were not the first of the season from players that have been brought through the club's youth ranks in Europe. Of the nine goals scored in the Champions League this term, six have come from the boots of homegrown stars.

Messi has scored four of those goals and is the third highest marksman in the competition, while Puyol and Iniesta have one each. The other three goals have come from Thierry Henry (2) and own goal from Lyon's Clerc.

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