Barcelona advances to Champions League knockout stage after beating Porto

AP , Wednesday 29 Nov 2023

Portuguese duo João Félix and João Cancelo each scored a goal as Barcelona defeated Porto 2-1 on Tuesday to secure its return to the knockout round of the Champions League after two consecutive group-stage eliminations.

Joao Felix
Barcelona s Portuguese forward #14 Joao Felix celebrates after scoring his team s second goal during the UEFA Champions League first round group H football match between FC Barcelona and FC Porto at the Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys in Barcelona on November 28, 2023. Photo: AFP


It will be the first time since Lionel Messi left the club that Barcelona will be playing again in the round of 16 of Europe's top club competition.

Barcelona reached 12 points, three more than both Porto and Shakhtar Donetsk, which defeated Antwerp 1-0 earlier Tuesday.

The visitors opened the scoring with Pepê in the 30th, but Barcelona rallied with Cancelo scoring two minutes later and Félix in the 57th.

Barcelona was without starting goalkeeper Marc-André ter Stegen because of a back issue. Iñaki Peña started, with 17-year-old U.S.-born goalkeeper Diego Kochen, a product of the club’s youth academy, making the squad as a reserve.

Sergi Roberto was back in the squad after being out for nearly eight weeks.

Barcelona had not been playing well recently and was coming off a stretch that included a 1-0 loss to Shakhtar in its last Champions League game, and a 1-1 draw at Rayo Vallecano in its previous Spanish league match.

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