Barcelona again beat keen but limited Shalke 04
Barcelona edged their way into the semi-finals of the Champions League on Wednesday with another 1-0 defeat of Shalke 04, on a goal from Yaya Toure. ( dpa )
The tight win puts Barca into the semis on a 2-0 aggregate result, because they won 1- 0 in Gelsenkirchen last Tuesday - and will give a little breathing space to embattled coach Frank Rijkaard.
In the semi-finals Barca will face Manchester United, who disposed of AS Roma in Wednesday's other quarter-final.
Schalke turned in a spirited display in the Camp Nou, in front of 2,000 of their own fans, but lacked the quality to break down a Barca defence well marshalled by Carles Puyol.
Mirko Slomka's side made an aggressive side but failed to create any clear chances. In contrast, Xavi Hernandez forced a sharp save from Manuel Neuer in the 12th minute, after being exquisitely put through by Andres Iniesta.
Barca always looked more dangerous and it was little surprise when they took the lead in the 43rd minute, thanks to a veritable comedy of errors in the German defence.
Teenager Bojan Krkic centred from the right, Schalke defender Marcelo Bordon badly sliced his clearance, team-mate Mladen Krstajic headed the ball off the line - but only for Toure to follow up and score with a left-foot volley.
The bizarre goal gave Barca the confidence they had lacked in the first half, and the hosts rediscovered part of their old flowing style after the interval.
The only bad news for Barca was that Puyol will miss the semi- final first leg after picking up another yellow card - and that Thierry Henry continues to be a sluggish shadow of the Arsenal idol of a few years ago.