Barcelona edge minnows to close on knockout stages

    Andres Iniesta strikes a fighting pose after scoring for Barcelona in the Nou Camp

    Story highlights

    • Barcelona ease to 2-0 win over Viktoria Plsen in the Nou Camp
    • Andres Iniesta and David Villa with the goals for the European champions
    • AC Milan head Group H after a 2-0 home win over BATE Borisov
    • Cypriot side APOEL Nicosia hold Porto to draw in Group G to top group
    Holders Barcelona made hard work of beating Czech minnows Viktoria Plzen 2-0 in their Champions League Group H clash Wednesday but need just one win to reach the knockout stages.
    The Catalan giants were near their fluent best in the Nou Camp but wasted a string of chances after midfielder Andres Iniesta put them ahead early after being set up by Lionel Messi.
    Argentine goal machine Messi hit the woodwork twice before David Villa made the game safe with a second eight minutes from time.
    It left Barcelona unbeaten in the group, but they trail AC Milan on head-to-head record as the Italians beat BATE Borisov 2-0 in the San Siro.
    Both the big guns have seven points with their return clash in the San Siro on November 23 set to decide who goes through as winners of the group.
    Goals from Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Kevin Prince Boateng ensured an easy night's work for the Rossoneri, but their coach Massimiliano Allegri is already looking ahead to playing Barcelona again after holding them to a draw in the Nou Camp.
    "It was an important win tonight to help with qualification, we still need points but our aim is to be playing Barcelona for first place, that would be an important result for the subsequent draw," he told SkySport of Italy.
    In Group G, Cypriots APOEL Nicosia held Portugal giants Porto to a 1-1 draw and top a tight section with five points.
    Brazilian star Hulk put the home side ahead as he lashed home an early free kick, but six minutes later the visitors were level.
    Hulk's fellow Brazilian Ailton found space and produced a 25 meter shot that Helton in the Porto goal could not cover.
    Zenit St Petersburg are second in the group, a point behind, after coming from behind twice to draw 2-2 at Ukraine's Shakhtar Donetsk.
    Brazilians Willian and Luiz Adriano scored for Shakhtar, while Roman Shirokov and Viktor Faizulin leveled for the Russians.