Champions League: Messi Masterclass for Barca; Chelsea, PSG Cruise
Lionel Messi was at his devastating best Tuesday as he grabbed a brace in Barcelona’s 3-0 victory over Juventus to kick off their Champions League campaign in style.
The Argentine maestro continued his sublime form this season by putting the Italians to the sword with his first goals against legendary goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon.
Messi’s brilliant exchange of passes with Luis Suaarez on the stroke of halftime led to the opening goal, before his fine run was finished off by Ivan Rakitic for Barca’s second.
The five-time ballon d’Or winner saved the best for last with a sublime solo goal to hand Barca the three points midway through the second-half.
Barca’s revenge for their defeat to Juventus in last season’s quarterfinals leaves them on top of Group D alongside Sporting Lisbon, who ran out 3-2 winners at Olympiakos.
Former Barca boy, Neymar, was in party mode as he led Paris Saint-Germain’s 5-0 rout of Celtic in Glasgow.
Fellow summer recruit Kylina Mbappe, Edinson Cavani (two goals) and a Mikael Lustig own goal on 83 minutes put the seal on PSG’s victory ahead of their blockbuster matchday 2 tie against five-time European champions Bayern Munich, who began their campaign by brushing aside Anderlecht 3-0 at the Allianz Arena.
In Group A, Marouane Fellaini, who came on for the injured Paul Pogba, grabbed the opener as United laboured to a 3-0 victory over Basle on their Champions League return.
Marcus Rashford wrapped the scoring for Jose Mourinho’s men after Romelu Lukaku powered home a header early in the second half.
Premier League champions Chelsea were the biggest winners on the night, thrashing group stage newcomers Qarabag 6-0 at Stamford Bridge in Group C with Pedro Rodriguez, Davide Zappacosta, Cesar Azpilicueta, Tiemoue Bakayoko and Michy Batshuayi also among the goals.
Antonio Conte’s side travels to Atletico Madrid on matchday 2, after the Spaniards were held to a goalless draw at Roma.