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UCL Rewind: Messi ties record in Barca win; Man City falls to CSKA; and more

LionelMessiBarcelona1-Ajax2014UCL (Getty)

By DAN KARELL

Lionel MessiĀ is on the verge of collecting another individual goal-scoring record.

The star Barcelona forward scored a pair of goals as an under-strength Barca squad took down Ajax, 2-0, in Amsterdam in the fourth UEFA Champions League matchday. Messi’s second goal tied both Cristiano Ronaldo and Real Madrid legend Raul with 71 goals in the Champions League, and Messi will have the first chance to break the record when Barcelona face APOEL on Nov. 25.

Messi scored his first in unconventional fashion in the 36th minute when Marc Bartra beat Ajax goalkeeper Jesper Cillessen to a loose ball in the area and crossed into the middle. The Argentine forward then leaped and directed a header in for the opening goal of the match.

The 27-year-old then tied the record in more standard fashion, dribbling forward before playing a one-two with Pedro on the edge of the box. Pedro returned the pass to the top of the six yard box where Messi slid a shot home.

Here’s a look at some other Champions League scores:

MAN CITY FALL TO CSKA MOSCOW

Manchester City’s exploits in European soccer continue to be underwhelming.

The English side fell, 2-1, to CSKA Moscow at the Etihad Stadium, with Man City finishing the match with nine men on the field. Both Yaya Toure and Fernandinho were sent off.

Seydou Doumbia proved to be the star for CSKA as he put them up 1-0 in the second minute and scored again in the 34th minute to give the lead back to the Russian club. Toure had equalized in the eighth minute with a stellar free kick goal.

With the defeat, Man City sit at the bottom of Group E with just two points from a possible 12.

CHELSEA FAIL TO BEAT MARIBOR ON ROAD

NK Maribor have continued to play well above their weight in the Champions League.

Maribor tied Chelsea, 1-1, in a hard fought game that included plenty of drama. Agim Ibraimi put Maribor up 1-0 in the 50th minute with an impressive curling shot, but Nemanja Matic leveled the scoreline in the 73rd minute as he got on the end of a John Terry header off a corner kick and nestled the ball in for a goal.

Chelsea looked likely to complete the comeback in the 86th minute when Eden Hazard was tripped in the penalty box and a penalty kick was awarded, but the Belgian international’s penalty shot was saved by Jasmin Handanovic.

Here’s a closer look at Wednesday’s Champions League results:

GROUP E

Bayern Munich 2-0 AS Roma

Man City 1-2 CSKA Moscow

GROUP F

Paris Saint-Germain 1-0 APOEL

Ajax 0-2 Barcelona

GROUP G

Maribor 1-1 Chelsea

Sporting CP 4-2 Schalke 04

GROUP H

Athletic Bilbao 0-2 FC Porto

Shakhtar Donetsk 5-0 BATE Borisov

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What did you think of today’s UCL performances? Do you expect Messi to break the record on Nov. 25? Surprised that Chelsea was held in Maribor? What is ailing Man City in Europe?

Share your thought’s below.

Comments

  1. EPL teams are failing to impress again during these early stages. I think that a couple, if not all four will round out into form for the next couple of matches.

    Reply
    • I don’t agree. Arsenal will go out in the first round. They always seem to play a top tier heavy hitter in the round of 16. Barca normally.

      Man City is done if anyone wins the Roma/CSKA game. Basically they are out.

      Chelsea will be fine if Costa is healthy. Semi Finals I would guess.

      Liverpool is like Arsenal even if they make it out of the group they will be crushed.

      Reply
      • Concur with you. I am only really seeing four teams right now who look like they are capable of lifting the trophy, and they are the same as the last four from last year’s CL– Real Madrid, A. Madrid, Barcelona, and Bayern. There is a second tier group of PSG, Chelsea, and Juve that might displace one of these teams, but even that I doubt.

        The heavy English presence through the knockout rounds that emerged following Liverpool’s win in 2005 seems to have subsided, and the tournament now feels more like it did in the late ’90s and early 2000s, when English teams rarely made it so far as the semis outside of ManU 1999.

        The current crop of English CL teams simply do not have the talent or depth right now– a mere glance at the squad sheets effectively tells the story. In this sense, City are the biggest disappointment, but even that was not entirely unexpected. Yaya Toure is really the only guy in the side (along with the aging but still effective Lampard) who has the combination of talent and knockout round experience that typically characterizes the spine of successful CL teams, and its no surprise that Toure has been the star performer in many of these disappointing showings.

        Would like to see some sort of “surprise package” emerge in this tournament— don’t really care where they’re from. The tournament has an air of inevitability right now that is bordering on staleness.

    • My DVR must be recording the wrong games….I was going to say the English teams didnt have a prayer away from Chelsea.

      Reply

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