Messi treble grounds City
Lionel Messi scored his second hat-trick in as many Champions League games to give Barcelona a 4-0 win over Manchester City as Pep Guardiola and Claudio Bravo endured harrowing returns to the Nou Camp on Wednesday.
London: Lionel Messi scored his second hat-trick in as many Champions League games to give Barcelona a 4-0 win over Manchester City as Pep Guardiola and Claudio Bravo endured harrowing returns to the Nou Camp on Wednesday. A slip by Fernandinho allowed Messi to round former teammate Bravo and open the scoring in the 17th minute and the keeper completed a miserable night by getting sent off in the second half for handling outside the area after losing the ball.
The magical Messi hammered in his second from the edge of the area after turning two City defenders and pounced on a Luis Suarez lay-off to complete his treble in the 69th minute. Barca substitute Jeremy Mathieu was then dismissed for two bookable offences. Neymar had a late penalty saved by substitute keeper Willy Caballero but the Brazilian made amends by scoring the fourth goal in the 89th minute.
Mesut Ozil applied the gloss to a ruthless Arsenal display with a second-half hat-trick in a 6-0 hammering of Ludogorets that put the Gunners on the brink of the Champions League knockout rounds on Wednesday. Arsenal were cantering against the Bulgarian champions thanks to sublime first-half goals from Alexis Sanchez and Theo Walcott and a strike straight after the break from Alex Oxlade- Chamberlain before playmaker Ozil joined the party.
As Ludogorets crumbled, his well-taken goals in the 56th, 83rd and 87th minutes helped Arsenal to their biggest Champions League win since a 7-0 thrashing of Slavia Prague in 2007 and sealed their seventh successive win in all competitions. Arsenal lead Group A on goal difference from Paris St Germain with both clubs on seven points. Ludogorets and Basel have one and are effectively playing heading for a Europa League berth.
Vincent Aboubakar scored twice, including an 86th-minute winner, to give Besiktas a shock 3-2 win at Napoli on Wednesday after the hosts had twice come from behind and missed a penalty. Napoli's defence was at fault for all three Besiktas goals as the Serie A side slumped to a third successive defeat in all competitions and lost an 18-match unbeaten home record in Europe.
Napoli would have become the first team in Champions League history to qualify from the group stage with three matches to spare if they had won and the other match, between Dynamo Kiev and Benfica, had been drawn Instead, they remained on six points and are now just one ahead of Benfica, who won 2-0 at Dynamo Kiev, and Besiktas with half the group still to play.
Napoli were unbeaten in their first eight matches of the season but it has all gone wrong following a knee injury to striker Arkadiusz Milik, himself brought in to replace Gonzalo Higuain following the Argentine's move to Juventus. Napoli fielded Dries Mertens as a false number nine.
Celtic's 21-match unbeaten home record was wrecked as Borussia Moenchengladbach cashed in on two mistakes from defender Kolo Toure to deservedly win their Champions League Group C encounter 2-0 on Wednesday. Poor second-half errors from the Ivorian veteran set up goals for Lars Stindl, after 57 minutes, and Andre Hahn, in the 77th, to give the Germans their first victory following two defeats and leave Celtic at the bottom of the table with one point.
The hosts, attempting to reprise the sort of special Parkhead night that inspired them to hold ManchesterCity in their previous match, were under pressure early on in a first half that Gladbach dominated. The 35-year-old then got caught in possession by Stindl just outside the centre circle and the ball broke to Hahn who forged forward to seal Gladbach's first away win in the European Cup proper since 1977.