Published: Thu, September 20, 2018
Sport | By Joe Gonzales

Champions League: Messi scores hat-trick fires Barcelona to victory

Champions League: Messi scores hat-trick fires Barcelona to victory

Roberto Firmino's last-gasp strike gave Liverpool a 3-2 win over Paris Saint-Germain in a thrilling encounter on the opening night of the UEFA Champions League group stage on Tuesday, after Lionel Messi's latest hat-trick handed Barcelona a winning start.

Messi, Dembele, Coutinho, and Luis Suarez too, caused havoc but four goals still flattered Barcelona.

Barcelona's otherwise excellent 2017-18 campaign that ended with the Spanish league and Copa del Rey titles had one blemish: a shock 3-0 loss at Roma in the Champions League that squandered a 4-1 first-leg victory and meant elimination in the quarterfinals.

DF Gerard Pique, 6 - Looked anxious as Bergwijn ran at him but made up for not being able to stop the winger with an excellent block from Hirving Lozano's strike as PSV broke into the box searching for the equaliser. That is the question Julen Lopetegui must ask himself as the new Real Madrid coach attempts to add a fourth Champions League in a row to the Bernabeu trophy cabinet.

After leaving the pitch the five-time Champions League victor, whose stoppage-time penalty for Real Madrid knocked Juve out in the quarter-finals last season, waited by the tunnel entrance, seemingly on the verge of tears. And when he spoke out, he set the bar as high as possible. "He is the best player in the world, [the best] in the history of the game".

Messi opened the scoring with a free kick and scored two more late on after Ousmane Dembele's solo effort. Two minutes later, Messi got his second goal turning Ivan Rakitic's dinked pass into the near corner with one flick of his boot. "They are far ahead of us at the moment".

"A lot of the time when we get a free-kick, we are already thinking about the celebration", Rakitić said. Tune in, because you'll never see someone like this on a soccer field again. We have the youngest players and we are still on the right road.

Amazon And Netflix Make History At The 2018 Emmy Awards
And we can't forget director Glenn Weiss - who proposed to his girlfriend during his acceptance speech. During the Primetime telecast, Netflix won 7 Emmys, HBO won 6, Amazon won 5, and FX won 5.

Dembele is in red-hot form having netted five goals across all competitions for Barca, sitting second in the goalscoring charts this term behind only Messi, who netted three tonight.

The Dutch team is the 30th different club that the Argentine has scored against, since his debut goal against Panathinaikos in 2005.

While Manchester United's 3-0 win over Young Boys was routine, William Hill remain sceptical about Jose Mourinho's side and their long-term credentials in this competition, they're 25/1 (26.0) in the outright victor market. Messi will also be aiming to increase his tally of seven goals in six matches across all competitions.

The clearest indication of Messi's ongoing greatness is how you can count on people to produce YouTube compilations of his touches from every individual game he plays. He repeated that same trick to score against Alaves last month.

PSV Eindhoven coach Mark van Bommel insists there's no reason for panic after their thrashing by Barcelona. Messi clipped it over their heads instead. "Technically, Messi is the best player in the world".

The Camp Nou will be the base of the Blaugrana's success in Europe this season as Ernesto Valverde looks to put a stop to Real Madrid's stranglehold over the Champions League and tonight they were emphatic at the Camp Nou, brushing past PSV with relative comfort.

Like this: