Messi on target as Barcelona ease to victory

Lionel Messi celebrates his goal as holder Barcelona beat Dynamo Kiev 2-0 at the Nou Camp.
Holders Barcelona recorded their first Champions League win of the season as goals from Lionel Messi and substitute Pedro secured a comfortable 2-0 Group F victory over Dinamo Kiev.

After a perfect five wins in the Primera Liga, Barca now replace Kiev at the top of Group F on four points after Inter Milan drew 1-1 with Rubin Kazan. Barcelona, who were welcoming back midfield playmaker Andres Iniesta for his first start since the 2-0 final victory over Manchester United in May, went ahead in the 25th-minute when Messi drifted inside with a burst of pace before curling a trademark finish into the corner. The second goal came in the 76th minute with the impressive Zlatan Ibrahimovic set up subsitute Pedro to slot home after neatly shifting the ball onto his left foot. Meanwhile, in the other Group F match, Italian champions Inter Milan survived the second-half dismissal of striker Mario Balotelli for two bookable offences to earn a hard-fought draw at Russian champions Rubin Kazan. The home side went ahead in the 11th minute when Argentine Alejandro Dominguez received a pass from Alexander Bukharov before dribbling past two Inter defenders and firing a rising shot into the roof of the net past Julio Cesar.

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Inter levelled after 25 minutes, when an unmarked Dejan Stankovic headed home Maicon’s right-wing cross. Following Balotelli’s dismissal, Inter found themselves pinned back in their own half and Kazan captain Sergei Semak came inches away from securing all three points when his shot struck the post and rebounded to safety. Sevilla look favorites to qualify from Group G after an impressive 4-1 victory at Rangers gave the Spanish side maximum six points from their two matches. After a goalless first-half, the visitors ran riot after the break and took the lead in the 50th minute when Abdoulay Konko headed home a Jesus Navas cross. Rangers came forward looking to equalize but the visitors doubled their advantage 13 minutes later when Adriano converted from 12 yards after being set up by Luis Fabiano. There was further misery for the home side in the 71st minute when Luis Fabiano headed in from four yards from Frederic Kanoute’s deep cross from the right. And, just three minutes later, Sevilla added a fourth when Luis Fabiano played Kanoute in and the big striker calmly slotted past goalkeeper Allan McGregor. Two minutes from time, Nacho Novo smashed in from 25 yards to give the home fans a consolation goal. In the other match, Stuttgart will be left to rue two points that got away after they were held to a 1-1 draw by Romanian champions Unirea Urziceni. The Bundesliga side dominated the game for long stretches and had the lead through Serdar Tasci after just five minutes. But they failed to convert a host of chances that followed, allowing Unirea to grab a point through Dacian Varga early in the second half.