The Camp Nou enjoyed another night of dazzling attacking football as Barcelona ran out 3-0 winners against Shakhtar Donetsk.
The creative trinity of Ronaldinho, Deco and Samuel Eto’o all registered on the score sheet as the Blaugrana move top of their group alongside Milan.
“The Ukrainian side are a highly-tactical team,” said Rijkaard. “But we just got on with our normal game, which consisted of creating as much space ass possible and attacking with flair.”
Deco opened the scoring in the 15th minute to notch his second champions league goal in as many matches for his new side. The Portuguese international drove in a rising shot following a neat interchange between Ronaldinho and Eto’o.
Shakhtar keeper Lastuvka was in good form on the night but was unable to avoid bringing Ronaldinho down in the box as he ran through on goal. The Brazilian made no mistake from the spot to secure the win mid-way through the second half.
Late substitutes Henrik Larsson and Andres Iniesta made an immediate impact in the dying minutes.
Barcelona manager Frank Rijkaard’s face lit up as Eto’o rounded off proceedings, slotting home into an empty net in the 89th minute as Iniesta drew both keeper and defender under his spell with a run into the box.
The young Spaniard made another opportunity for Larsson moments later only for the Swede to flash the ball wide of the mark.
“I told the players that only eleven could be on the pitch,” said Rijkaard, “and I selected Ludovic Giuly ahead of Larsson. It was a pity that the Swede didn’t score the fourth at the death but he still helped the team tremendously when he came on.”
Shakhtar coach Mircea Lucescu saif; “A 1-0 scorline would have been a very fair result for this match – but Barca have tremendous quality in all departments.
“Deco’s opener was simply a fantastic goal and although we had our chances, we couldn’t make anything of them.”