Messi treble as Barca bag four

Lionel Messi scored a superb Champions League hat-trick as Barcelona ran Ajax ragged with a 4-0 win in their Group H opener at the Nou Camp.

Last Updated: 19/09/13 at 09:17 Post Comment

Lionel Messi: Celebrates netting his hat-trick against Ajax

Lionel Messi: Celebrates netting his hat-trick against Ajax

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

The Argentinian striker was at his effortless best, despatching a fine first-half free-kick and then producing two clinical finishes either side of Gerard Pique's header.

Ajax were passengers in the second period and were denied even a consolation when Victor Valdes saved Kolbeinn Sigthorsson's penalty.

Messi, perhaps inspired by Cristiano Ronaldo's treble for Real Madrid on Tuesday night, now has 62 Champions League goals and a record four hat-tricks.

Neymar, making his Champions League debut, was quickly into the action as he raced clear and tested Kenneth Vermeer after only three minutes.

The Brazilian was looking the game's liveliest player, eager for the ball and running at the away defence, but it was Messi who opened the scoring.

He was going away from the box when Lerin Duarte trod on his boot, though he showed no discomfort when stepping up to caress the free-kick home from just outside the area.

The ball crept in via the inside of the post, leaving Vermeer grasping at thin air.

Ajax were vulnerable, ever more so when Niklas Moisander was booked - after a couple of warnings - for tripping Andres Iniesta.

Out of nowhere, Ajax threatened an equaliser in the 31st minute. On-loan Bojan Krkic was the creator against his parent club, neatly making space for himself before curling a teasing cross to the back post.

Ricardo van Rhijn met it with a strong header but Victor Valdes made a good save.

Duarte was next to work the Spain international, striking first time from the edge of the area, and he was again up to scratch.

Valdes' opposite number Vermeer was also helping to keep the score count down, getting down low to save from Neymar and then, seconds before half-time, gathering from Messi who had ignored the run of Cesc Fabregas in favour of shooting.

A couple of minutes earlier Neymar blazed over after taking Iniesta's chipped cross down on his chest.

It took Barca five minutes of the second half to threaten again, Van Rhijn hooking Dani Alves cross away to deny Neymar a simple finish.

That simply delayed the inevitable, though, as a four-on-three breakaway found its way to Messi breaking into the area. He guided the ball on to his left foot, committing his man in process, and finished at the near post.

Messi almost made it three with an improvised touch off his knee, but it was Pique who struck next when he rose to nod home Neymar's precison ball into the box.

Ajax were being cut open at regular intervals and went four behind to Messi's hat-trick goal in the 75th minute.

He made it look simple, feigning to shoot before picking out the bottom corner with apparent ease.

Sigthorsson had the chance to rescue something from the evening when Javier Mascherano conceded the penalty, but Valdes guessed right to preserve his clean sheet.

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

More Match Results

Wednesday, 13 May 2015
19:45
R Madrid 1-1 Juventus Report
Tuesday, 12 May 2015
Bay Munich 3-2 Barcelona Report
Wednesday, 06 May 2015
Barcelona 3-0 Bay Munich Report
Tuesday, 05 May 2015
Juventus 2-1 R Madrid Report
Wednesday, 22 April 2015
Monaco 0-0 Juventus Report
R Madrid 1-0 A Madrid  
Tuesday, 21 April 2015
Barcelona 2-0 PSG  
Bay Munich 6-1 FC Porto Report
Wednesday, 15 April 2015
FC Porto 3-1 Bay Munich Report
PSG 1-3 Barcelona  

Footer 365

Sepp Blatter announces he will resign as FIFA president

Sepp Blatter has announced he is to resign as president of FIFA and an election will be held to decide his successor.

Sepp Blatter to quit: Names in frame for FIFA top job

After FIFA president Sepp Blatter announced he will step down from the role, we look at the candidates to replace him.

Sepp Blatter to quit: Timeline leading to resignation of FIFA boss

We look back on the timeline of events which culminated in Sepp Blatter announcing his resignation as president of FIFA.

Mail Box

Liverpool 2015 Feels Like Liverpool 2011...

One Mailer says Benteke = Carroll, Bellamy = Milner and Clyne = Downing. Plus we have U21 Euro impatience, farewell Rio, Rafa Benitez, Milner, FIFA and title play-offs...

Calling Carlo For Liverpool... Please

One Liverpool Mailer wants a manager who isn't starstruck by the job. Plus why Milner has now become overrated, play-offs for the title, Ronaldinho and democracy..

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company