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17.09.2008 13:14

Ninth consecutive opening day win

Anna Segura

FC Barcelona won their first game in the Champions League for the ninth consecutive time when they beat Sporting Clube on Tuesday evening in Camp Nou.

Pep Guardiola's side did not break with tradition as they beat the Portuguese outfit thanks to goals from Rafa Márquez, Samuel Eto'o and Xavi Hernández to record their ninth consecutive opening day win in the competition proper. Sporting were beaten and followed in the footsteps of AIK Solna, Leeds United, Fenerbahçe, Club Brugge, Celtic, Werder Bremen, Levski Sofia and Olympique Lyonnais, all of whom have lost to Barça in the first game.

Four impressive wins

Andersson.jpgIn the nine wins, Barça have enjoyed a goal spree on four occasions. The first time came against Leeds United in 2000/01 when the Blaugrana hit four with Patrick Kluivert scoring a brace and Rivaldo and Frank de Boer added one apiece.

The following season Kluivert, Patrick Andersson and Javier Saviola all netted to give the Blauagrana a three-goal win against Fenerbahçe.

Frank Rijkaard's side did even better in 2006/07 when Andrés, Ludovic Giuly, Carles Puyol, Eto'o and Ronaldinho all scored as Levski Sofia were beaten 5-0.

Last season, Lionel Messi and Lionel Messi ensured that Olmypique Lyonnais were soundly beaten on the opening day of the Champions League.

Three close games

web_02.jpgAIK Solna were the first team to be beaten in the run of victories as they went down 1-2 thanks to goals from Abelardo and Dani in the first game of the 1999/2000 Champions League campaign.

Against Club Brugge, in 2002/03, the Blaugrana had a slightly more exciting time of things as they only won 3-2 with Luis Enrique, Gaizka Mendieta and Saviola all scoring.

In 2005/06 Barcelona travelled to Germany to play Werder Bremen and Deco and Ronaldinho netted to give them a 0-2 triumph.

Celtic triumph

web_2.0.jpgThe 3-1 win on Tuesday against Sporting was the same scoreline by which Barcelona beat Celtic in the first game in 2004/05 when Deco, Giuly and Henrik Larsson all scored.
Ninth consecutive opening day win
Milan second best
AC Milan, who are in the UEFA Cup this season, are just behind Barcelona as they have won their last seven opening games in the Champions League while Valencia are just behind with six first day victories.

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