New Messi record as Barça beats APOEL 4-0November 26, 2014
While the international breaks can sometimes be frustrating for anyone following domestic football, the recent gap in Spanish league football seems to have done wonders for Leo Messi, who scored his second hat track in two matches last night, gaining another new record in real style.
I don’t know whether he needed some home cooking, needed to mis with his Argentine team mates or just get away from the pressure of Barcelona for a few days, but he has come back bang on form. Despite last week hinting his long term future may not remain with Barça, all the signs are Messi is well and truly back after some weeks where his spark was missing. And that is always great to see.
From the time Barcelona came on until the final whistle went they had complete control, although the host’s defence wouldn’t let Barça through to score. Finally Suarez opened in the 26th minute, the first scored by the controversial Barcelona signing. Messi scored his first of the night in the 37th minute, and beating the previous record for goals scored in Champions League held by Raúl.
It took 12 minutes after the break for Messi to score his second of the night to put Barça ahead 3-0, set up by Dani Alves. Despite victory assured Barcelona kept on the pressure, although an attack by the home team ending with Rafinha receiving his marching orders after being shown a second yellow card 20 minutes before the end.
However, Apoel Nicosia also went down to 10 men with six minutes remaining, also for a second yellow card. And with just three minutes remaining Pedro passed the ball back to Messi for his third of the night. After five matches the result leaves Barça in second place in Group F with 12 points and Paris St Germain on 13. APOEL Nicosia and Ajax are on 1 and 2 points respectively.
0-1 Suárez (min 26)
0-2 Messi (min 37)
0-3 Messi (min 57)
0-4 Messi (min 86)