Messi joins 100-goal club in Europe in Barca stroll while Chelsea held

Lionel Messi scored his 100th European goal as Barcelona made light of Gerard Pique’s red card to brush aside Olympiakos in the Champions League.

The Argentine, 30, whipped a free-kick through goalkeeper Silvio Proto’s gloves to score the hosts’ second after Dimitris Nikolaou’s own-goal opener.

Messi then set up Lucas Digne for a third before Nikolaou’s fine header grabbed a late consolation.

Pique had been shown a second yellow for a handball just before the break.

The central defender instinctively bundled the ball into the Olympiakos goal with his forearm when Gerard Deulofeu’s shot was parried into his path five yards out.

A rapid rate of scoring
Cristiano Ronaldo 0.74 goals per game in Europe
Lionel Messi 0.82 goals per game in Europe

He protested his innocence to Scottish referee Willie Collum but rightly received his first Champions League red card.

Messi becomes only the second player after Real Madrid rival Cristiano Ronaldo to reach three figures in European competition.

Ronaldo has 112 goals in 151 games in continental competition. Messi’s century has arrived in 122 games.

Elsewhere, Paris St-Germain’s expensively assembled forward line all got on the scoresheet as Kylian Mbappe, Edinson Cavani and world-record buy Neymar scored against Anderlecht before Angel di Maria completed a 4-0 win away in Belgium.

Azerbaijani champions Qarabag secured their first ever Champions League point as they held Atletico Madrid – runners-up in two of the past four seasons – to a 0-0 draw in Baku.

Qarabag held their illustrious visitors at bay despite playing the final 10 minutes with only 10 men after striker Dino Ndlovu was shown a second yellow card after an apparent dive.

The result leaves Atletico third in Group C with two points, three points behind Roma and five behind leaders Chelsea, at the halfway stage of qualification for the knock-out phases.

“I believe in these players and we’re capable of changing the group situation around,” coach Diego Simeone said.

“I’m feeling good and the side too.”

After suffering a 2-1 defeat at home to Lazio in the league at the weekend, Juventus fell behind again against visitors Sporting as Alex Sandro inadvertently turned the ball into his own net on 12 minutes.

Mario Mandzukic
Mario Mandzukic scored Juventus’ goal in June’s 4-1 final defeat by Real Madrid

But last year’s runners-up battled back with a pinpoint Miralem Pjanic free-kick levelling before Mario Mandzukic headed in a winner six minutes from time from Douglas Costa’s cross as they sealed a 2-1 victory.

The result means Juve are three points behind Group D leaders Barcelona, who have nine points from three games.

FC Basel came away from CSKA Moscow with a 2-0 win thanks to goals from Taulant Xhaka and substitute Dimitri Oberlin.

The Swiss side are a point behind leaders Manchester United in Group A.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s