FC Barcelona beat Ajax on Wednesday night thanks to two goals from Leo Messi, thereby equalling the all-time Champions League rcord of 71 goals set by Raul.
The result leaves them in second place in Group F, one point behind PSG with two more matches to play.
0-1 Messi (min 35)
0-2 Messi (min 75)
After their defeat at the hands of Real Madrid last weekend, the thing FC Barcelona was really looking to do was put that one defeat behind them and continue with another string of wins. Unfortunately for the Catalans things didn’t turn out hat way and instead they suffered their second defeat in a row and slipped off the top spot in the league.
The match was also important for Leo Messi, who was looking to break the all time La Liga scoring; held by Telmo Zarra since 1955, it stands at 251. Messi had three chances inside four minutes but just couldn’t put the ball home.
Neymar started the second half with a shot that struck the crossbar, but disaster struck soon after when Joaquín Larrivey put the ball home for the visitors. With the visitors in the lead they slowed down the pace a bit, but Barça still looked like they could turn the match around. However as the final whistle approached the team was just unable to do enough the match ended with Barcelona’s second successive loss.
0-1 Larrivey (min 53)
Saturday saw Barça head for the Bernabeu where they played the first clasico of the season, one of the most anticipated matches worldwide.
The Catalans had a great start with Neymar scoring 3 minutes into the game, but the next half hour saw a period of stalemate until Marcelo broke down the right 34 minutes in and sent in a dangerous cross that was handled by Pique. Ronaldo scored from the penalty spot to equalise.
The second half had the same frenzied energy with both sides trying very hard to get one in. And during the 48th minute, it was Pepe who headed in a corner at the far post to score a goal and take the lead. Barcelona had plenty of possession and looked like they may equalise only to see an attempt at the goal by Mathieu stopped by Casillas with a brilliant flying save.
Pique and Mascherano defended heroically but during in the 59th minute Isco took advantage of a mix up between Iniesta and Mascherano and Benzema put Madrid further ahead. Despite plugging away until the end and Barça lost their unbeaten league record for this season to their arch-rival.
0-1 Neymar (min 3)
1-1 Ronaldo (min 34)
2-1 Pepe (min 48)
3-1 Benzema (min 59)
FC Barcelona got the fans roaring at exactly 6 minutes into the game when Messi took the ball from Pedro and passed it to Neymar, who then curled the ball into the upper right corner of the goal mouth. Ajax then started to press harder but was no match for FC Barcelona and by the 23rd minute, Messi was again able to score a goal for the team.
During the second half, FC Barcelona mostly controlled the ball and Ajax was having a difficult time keeping up. Although there were a few opportunities on either side, there were no goals scored during this time.
A loose ball ended up at Anwar El Ghazi’s feet who got in a shot at the 86th minute. And just when Ajax thought they could catch up, Pedro and Rafinha combined to find a lurking Sandro who scored a goal 92nd minute into the game that had the team comfortably sitting at second place in Group F with six points.
1-0 Neymar (min 6)
2-0 Messi (min 23)
2-1 El Ghazi (min 86)
3-1 Sandro Ramirez (min 92)
Messi is just one strike away to equal the record of former Athletic Bilbao striker, Telmo Zarra, which is 251 Primera Division goals. Barcelona of course was the aggressive team while Eibar was more on the defensive with the Eibar coach more in favour of 5-3-2 formation than his usual 4-4-2
The first half, despite Barcelona’s dominance of possession, belonged to Eibar. Capa rounded Bravo after a through ball but was shot wide of the near post.
During the second half, Eibar was able to do well in containing Barcelona but has then buckled before the hour mark. Xavi was able to carry the ball forward from midfield and played in Messi that resulted in his first goal score of the season. Neymar was then able to score a goal when Xavi played a short pass to Alves who then picked out Neymar to volley home his eight league goal this season. Messi got a goal in during the 74th minute of the game, playing a one-two with Neymar before smashing the ball in the far post and into the net.
1-0 Xavi (min 60)
2-0 Neymar (min 72)
3-0 Messi (min 74)
Barcelona played Rayo Vallecano at the Vallecas stadium in Madrid on Saturday, beating the hosts 2-0 thanks to two goals in two minutes from Messi and Neymar.
Barça starting with a rotated line up that saw Piqué, Bartra, Mathieu, Xavi, Iniesta, Busquets and Munir start; Xavi for one must have been happy, as only last week he voiced his frustration at starting on the bench so often this season. While Rayo definitely weren’t going to just let the Catalans walk over them, when the goals came they were within a 2 minute period. First Messi scored off a Pique chip and then right after Munir set up the second goal for Neymar.
In the second half Luis Enrique brought on Rakitic for Iniesta and then Sandro for Neymar and with Rayo down to 10 men after a second yellow for Morcillo Messi had plenty of opportunities to put Barça further in the ahead. However, it was not to happen and the match ended with Barcelona beating Rayo 2-0.
0-1 Messi (min 34)
0-2 Neymar (min 35)
Goals from Messi and Neymar were not enough to overcome Pasris Saint-Germain last night in Paris, when the two clubs clashed in the group stage of Chanmpions League.
PSG were the first to score in an intense first half thanks to David Luiz in the ninth minute, but immediately Leo Messi equalised. With high possession for Barcelona, and the squad playing well it looked like it could go well for the Catalans. Unfortunately in a moment of confusion at the back a cross by former Barça player Motta was picked up by Verratti and the French side went back into the lead.
Following the break the pressure continued, but it was PSG who scored a third goal to leave Barcelona trailing 3-1. That gap was shortlived though and Neymar scored Barça’s second of the night. On came Munir, Sandro and Xavi, but although there were some good chances the match ended 3-2.
The result leaves Paris Saint-Germain on top with 4 points, Barcelona with 3, Ajax on 2 and APOEL with 1.
1-0 David Luiz (min 9)
1-1 Messi (min 10)
2-1 Verratti (min 25)
3-1 Matuidi (min 53)
3-2 Neymar (min 55)
After a disappointing midweek match against Malaga, FC Barcelona bounced back with the annihilation of Granada at a packed Nou Camp on Saturday.
Ahead of the match Luis Enrique had warned that Granada can be dangerous, but with the team heavy on defence Barcelona had all the opportunities, although were unable to break through the impenetrable wall initially. The deadlock was broken at 25 minutes though. Neymar shot at the goal, which deflected off a defender’s leg and over the head of the keeper. Minutes before the break Messi set up Rakitic to put Barça two goals up, followed soon after by another from Neymar to end the first half 3-0.
It took another quarter hour of teh second half for Barcelona to score again, this time a Messi goal assisted by Xavi and Alves. Neymar scored his hat-trick a few minutes after to make it 5-0 from a Messi assist; and the Argentine scored the sixth goal of the match when he took the ball from the Granada defence and took the ball forward before putting in the back of the visitors’ goal.
1-0 Neymar (min 25)
2-0 Rakitic (min 42)
3-0 Neymar (min 44)
4-0 Messi (min 61)
5-0 Neymar (min 65)
6-0 Messi (min 81)
While Barcelona dominated possession against Malaga last night, they failed to create much in the way of opportunities and ended the match with a goalless draw.
While the hosts made an early attempt at the Barça goal, it wasn’t untill close to the quarter hour mark that the Catalans had their first real opportunity of the evening with a Messi free kick, soon followed up by a couple of near misses by Pedro. Messi made another attack after 30 minutes, only to see it blocked, and at the close of the first half a Jordi Alba looked like a certain Messi goal, only for him to fail to get to the ball.
After the break the stalemate continued and so after 15 minutes of play on came Munir and Sandro, bringing off Pedro and Neymar and shortly after Adriano in place of Douglas, but to no usefull effect, while Malaga had a good couple of attempts at scoring. As the minutes ticked down Pique tried, as did Bartra, but when the final whistle blew neither side had scored.
Sunday saw FC Barcelona travel down to Valencia where they beat Levante in a tremendous match with plenty of goals for the Catalans.
Early on the home side looked as if they might score for themselves, but just after the half hour mark Neymar broke the deadlock to put Barça ahead. But after Messi was brought down in the box he uncharacteristically shot wide from the penalty spot, losing the chance to open the gap. However, Rakitic did that towards the end of the first half, leaving Barcelona with the clear advantage going into the break.
Back on for the second half, Neymar went down to cause a moment of panic on the Barcelona bench. Although he appeared to be uninjured, Sandro Ramírez was brought on in his place and soon made his mark felt when he scored off a Messi assist. With three goals it might have been the end of the night, but Pedro scored one more minutes later and, finally, Leo Messi scored goal number five a quarter hour from the end to leave Barça with a one hundred percent record this season.
0-1 Neymar (min 33)
0-2 Rakitic (min 43)
0-3 Sandro Ramírez (min 56)
0-4 Pedro (min 63)
0-5 Messi (min 76)