Rubin shock holders Barca
Barcelona suffered a shock 2-1 defeat at home to Russian champions Rubin Kazan on Tuesday night.
By Jamie Casey
Last Updated: 20/10/09 10:59pm
UEFA Champions League holders Barcelona suffered a shock 2-1 defeat at home to Russian champions Rubin Kazan on Tuesday night.
The Catalan giants were behind twice in a pulsating fixture which throws Group F wide open after favourites Inter and Barcelona dropped points.
Alexander Ryazantsev gave Rubin a 2nd minute lead with a sensational effort before Zlatan Ibrahimovic evened up the score shortly after the break.
The hosts were on top in the second-half but it was Gokdeniz Karadeniz who struck last to hand the Russians a famous victory and spark some life into their campaign.
With Inter being held at home to Dinamo Kiev in the group's corresponding fixture, no team have yet taken control with Rubin and Kiev giving the top seeds something to think about.
Ryazantsev's opener shocked the home crowd as his ferocious strike from all of 30 yards gave Victor Valdes no chance in the Barcelona goal.
Ibrahimovic almost levelled two minutes later as he collected an Andres Iniesta pass before bending an effort towards the bottom corner, only to see keeper Sergei Ryzhikov palm his effort wide.
Pep Guardiola's men then piled on the pressure with striker Pedro forcing Ryzhikov to work once more with a fine header from Alves' cross after 24 minutes.
Lionel Messi's best chance of the half came on 38 minutes but he failed to get a toe on Ibrahimovic's first-time cross after the Swede was teed up by Iniesta.
And the little Argentine took his frustration out a minute later with a fierce effort from range, forcing the seemingly unstoppable Ryzhikov to tip wide yet again.
For all the hosts' dominance, Rubin still held the lead as half-time approached and Alejandro Dominguez gave Barcelona a reminder of their intent as he forced Valdes into a save with a fine free-kick after 42 minutes.
The Russians were then forced into an early change two minutes before the break as midfielder Sergei Semak was forced to withdraw through injury, with Rafal Murawski taking his place.
Barcelona started the second-half as they ended the first - determined to even up the score with wave after wave of attacks.
And it took just two minutes for them to square things up as Xavi played in Ibrahimovic who coolly chested and rifled past Ryzhikov with the angle against him.
With the Russian keeper's first-half heroics undone, the hosts sensed victory and continued to bombard the Rubin goal with some typically slick moves.
However, with their increasing pressure on the Rubin goal, it was the away side who incredibly took the lead once more as they capitalised on a misplaced pass.
Dominguez collected the loose pass and streamed forward before playing in Gokdeniz Karadeniz who kept his cool to fire past Valdes in the 73rd minute and silence the Nou Camp in the process.
Barcelona went all out for a second equaliser, with Ibrahimovic going closest with his volleyed effort off the crossbar in the 79th minute.
Messi tried an audacious attempt of his own four minutes later with a bicycle-kick from Iniesta's cross, but his ambitious effort failed to trouble Ryzhikov.The holders sent on Sergi Busquets in injury time in a bid to salvage a point but when Yaya Toure's header came back off the post, you sensed it was Rubin's night and they duly hung on for a famous victory.
|Barcelona||Team Statistics||Rubin Kazan|
|0||1st Half Goals||1|
|10||Shots on Target||3|
|12||Shots off Target||0|