Ibrahimovic to the rescue for holders Barcelona
Madrid: Zlatan Ibrahimovic`s second-half equaliser earned holders Barcelona a 1-1 draw at VfB Stuttgart in their Champions League last-16 first leg.
Brazilian-born German international Cacau headed the mid-table Bundesliga team in front in the 25th minute as they outplayed the visitors in a pulsating first half.
Stuttgart had chances to increase their lead as they put the champions on the back foot but Lionel Messi also hit the post for Barca just before halftime.
Barca levelled in the 52nd minute when Ibrahimovic scored at the second attempt after his first shot was superbly saved by Jens Lehmann.
"We have to do better, play the way we are capable of, but don`t forget that in European competition you are facing very good teams," said Barca coach Pep Guardiola.
"Europe is very tough, very difficult and very demanding."
The first chance of the game fell to Messi, who had a shot blocked by Serdar Tasci after he burst through the middle.
Cacau, who scored four goals in a 5-1 win at Cologne on Saturday, then put Stuttgart ahead when he outjumped Carles Puyol at the far post to nod in Timo Gebhart`s cross.
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