Barcelona recorded a hard-fought 2-1 win over Borussia Monchengladbach courtesy of Gerard Pique’s second-half strike
Gerard Pique netted a second-half winner as Barcelona came from behind to beat Borussia Monchengladbach 2-1 in theChampions League after Arda Turan cancelled out Thorgan Hazard’s opener.
Gladbach were thrashed 4-0 by Manchester City in their Group C opener earlier this month, while Barca hammered Celtic 7-0 on matchday one, but the Bundesliga side appeared to be on their way to a shock win following Hazard’s goal after a quick counterattack at Borussia-Park.
However, Arda restored parity with a powerful volley just minutes after coming off the bench, before Pique took advantage of some poor goalkeeping from Yann Sommer to make the difference, thus ending a three-game winless streak for the Liga champions in Germany.
Barca made it two wins from two games without injured star player Lionel Messi after previously seeing off Sporting Gijon 5-0.
Luis Enrique opted to give Rafinha the nod at the weekend, butPaco Alcacer had the chance to prove his worth this time around. The former Valencia star failed to impress, though, and was taken off after the break.
The away side could have gone a goal up via Neymar early on after a sublime team move. Luis Suarez reached Jordi Albadown the left, who immediately set up Neymar with a low cross after an intelligent dummy from Alcacer, only for the Brazil international to fire his attempt straight at Sommer.
Suarez was next to threaten for the Catalans when he made the most of some poor defending from Nico Elvedi after a long ball from Pique, but the former Liverpool star’s wild volley went just wide of the far top corner.
Gladbach seemed to be happy to sit back and try to hit Barcelona on the break and that tactic paid off in the 34th minute when Hazard opened the scoring somewhat against the run of play.
Sergio Busquets recklessly lost possession in midfield and the hosts immediately charged forward with three men, Raffael setting up Mahmoud Dahoud down the left, who in turn laid the ball off for Hazard and the Belgian winger coolly slotted home from close range to beat former Gladbach goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen on his homecoming.
It was Hazard’s seventh goal in 10 appearances in all competitions, already one more than in 36 outings last term.
Shot-stopper Sommer showed his class minutes later to maintain his side’s lead with a brilliant save to keep out Suarez’s volley from close range after a fine pass from Rakitic, withAndreas Christensen clearing the rebound before a Barcelona attacker could get to it.
Luis Enrique opted to bring on Arda for Rakitic after the interval and his decision immediately paid off as the Turkey international levelled the scoring in the 65th minute. Neymar opened up the Gladbach defence with a clever ball over the top and Arda blasted a volley past the helpless Sommer to make it 1-1.
Barcelona immediately started pushing forward and Pique netted the winner eight minutes later after some unconvincing goalkeeping from Sommer.
The Switzerland international failed to hold on to Suarez’s shot after a corner and Pique was on hand to dispatch the rebound, Barca holding firm in the closing stages to secure all three points.