Messi fires Barca to emphatic win

A review of Wednesday night's action in the Champions League, including Barcelona's 4-0 victory over Ajax.

Last Updated: 18/09/13 at 22:44 Post Comment

Lionel Messi netted a hat-trick for Barcelona

Lionel Messi netted a hat-trick for Barcelona

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

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 for large parts of the 4-0 defeat 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.

AC Milan also banked three points, though it needed a late rally to seal a 2-0 win over Celtic.

The Scottish champions were on course to leave the San Siro with a hard-earned point until an Emilio Izaguirre own-goal in the 82nd minute.

Sulley Muntari ensured victory three minutes later after Fraser Forster pushed a Mario Balotelli free-kick against the post.

Jose Mourinho's first Champions League match back at Chelsea ended in a shock defeat as Basel came from behind to win 2-1.

Oscar put the Blues in front on the stroke of half-time with virtually their first chance but they lacked cutting edge to add to that lead.

Mohamed Salah levelled in the 71st minute with a wonderful strike and when Marco Streller pounced eight minutes from time it confirmed Chelsea's first home defeat in the group stages since 2003.

Schalke had a much easier time of it at home to Steaua Bucharest, claiming a 3-0 win.

Atsuto Uchida opened the scoring after 67 minutes, with Kevin Prince-Boateng (78) and Julian Drexler (85) adding the gloss.

Napoli were 2-1 winners at home over last year's beaten finalists Borussia Dortmund in Group F.

It could have been worse for Jurgen Klopp's side, who lost goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller to a red card just before the interval following goal-preventing handball outside the area.

Napoli were already ahead through Gonzalo Higuain's 29th minute effort and doubled their advantage through Lorenzo Insigne in the 67th minute.

Dortmund got one back in the closing moments when Camilo Zuniga put the ball past his own keeper.

Arsenal joined Napoli on three points following a 2-1 win of their own over Marseille at the Stade Velodrome.

Theo Walcott (65) and the in-form Aaron Ramsey (84) got their goals, before an Andre Ayew penalty in added time reduced arrears.

In Group G, Hulk's sumptuous finish was not enough to stop Zenit St Petersburg going down 3-1 at Atletico Madrid.

Hulk's 58th-minute strike was the pick of the day, cancelling out Miranda's opener, but Arda Turan and Leo Baptistao were on target to render it irrelevant.

Porto were also victorious, edging Austria Vienna 1-0 thanks to Lucho Gonzalez's goal 10 minutes into the second half.


Sky Bet Free Bet Club: £10 free bet - £5 free every week


Footer 365

Aston Villa 2-1 Liverpool: Villa reach FA Cup final after comeback win stuns Reds

Aston Villa produced a stunning fightback to beat Liverpool 2-1 at Wembley and reach their first FA Cup final for 15 years.

Vinnie Jones says Leeds United do not need Russell Crowe takeover

Vinnie Jones admitted that Leeds United’s demise is a ‘sad situation’ and insisted Russell Crowe is not the answer.

Manchester City 2-0 West Ham: Sergio Aguero strikes in easy win

Manchester City closed the gap on third-placed Manchester United after a comfortable 2-0 victory over West Ham.

Mail Box

Respect, But Never Admiration For Chelsea

Football's about entertainment, the Mailbox says. Which means Manchester United supporters are happy with never winning the league if the football is good...

Wenger's Titles Down To United Woes...

Well, it's certainly one theory. Man United fans are out in force - decrying Wenger and defending FFP. We have mails on Coquelin, Coutinho and Mediawatch...

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