After a nervy start for the home side, Toure Yaya scored his first ever Champions League goal to secure a 2-0 aggregate victory over FC Schalke 04 to send FC Barcelona through to the UEFA Champions League semi-finals against Manchester United.
The Barcelona midfielder grabbed the goal just two minutes before half-time, finishing coolly after the first leg's goal scorer, Bojan Krkić, caused mayhem in the German defence. The goal settled an anxious Barcelona side that withstood a positive opening by Schalke. But now Rijkaard's team will have to improve if the sole non-Premier League participants are to overcome a very strong Manchester United FC in the semi finals.
Schalke began the match at the Camp Nou in the same fashion that they finished the encounter in Gelsenkirchen: playing with a tempo and an aggression that Barcelona could not match. They deserved to be in front several times during the opening 20 minutes.
Once again it was up to Bojan Krkic to show his more seniior strike partners how things are done. The 17 year old was Barcelona's best player in the first leg and made the difference with his maiden UEFA Champions League goal. Tonight, just before half-time, he changed the game again. Sprinting down the right flank he fired in a low cross that caused chaos in Schalke's penalty area. Marcelo Bordon telegraphed his clearance and Mladen Krstajić's header off the goalline fell at the feet of Touré, who stabbed the ball into the unguarded net. Barça were invigorated after the goal, free from the tension and anxiety of the opening half an hour.
Early in the second half, Thierry Henry wasted a cross from Bojan, firing over from five yards out. How long until Rijkaard starts a game with Gudjohnsen instead of the misfiring Frenchman?
There was bad news for Barcelona is that Carles Puyol, who was booked for a foul on Asamoah, will now miss the first leg tie with Manchester United through suspension.
Barcelona needed a strong performance tonight in order to dispel the negativity left over from the weekend. Tonight's showing will not do. Most fans watching tonight know that another showing like this one will not be enough to overcome Manchester United who will be nowhere near as forgiving as the German's were.
Still, a win is a win. Barcelona are in the semi finals of the Champions League - yet few are celebrating.
However, after the match, a visibly relieved Joan Laporta was available for a few words in the VIP area and said "What this team has done is worthy of praise, they have given their all in order to achieve their objective - with some very important absentees who, bit by bit, we are getting back. We should enjoy this moment and be happy."
The president remains defiant following the events at the weekend and added: "We need to fight against the culture of defeatism that it would seem some are eager to see get hold of this club. We all have to stick together in order to achieve glory in the Champions League."
Barcelona: 1 Víctor Valdés, 5 Carles Puyol, 6 Xavi Hernández, 8 Andrés Iniesta, 9 Samuel Eto'o, 11 Gianluca Zambrotta, 14 Thierry Henry, 21 Lilian Thuram, 22 Eric Abidal, 24 Yaya Touré, 27 Bojan Krkić
Substitutes 13 José Pinto, 3 Gabriel Milito, 4 Rafael Márquez (81m)7 Eidur Gudjohnsen (91) 15 Edmílson, 16 Sylvinho, 17 Giovani Dos Santos
Schalke: 1 Manuel Neuer, 2 Heiko Westermann, 3 Levan Kobiashvili, 5 Marcelo Bordon, 8 Fabian Ernst, 13 Jermaine Jones, 14 Gerald Asamoah, 18 Rafinha, 19 Halil Altıntop, 20 Mladen Krstajić, 22 Kevin Kuranyi.