Messi punishes Man City
Lionel Messi scored a hat-trick as Barcelona punished 10-man Manchester City 4-0 in the Champions League on Pep Guardiola’s return to his old club Wednesday.
City were competitive in the first half, but made far too many errors against a ruthless Barcelona revelling in Messi’s return from injury.
A Fernandinho slip inside his own box put Messi clear for his first, then Kevin de Bruyne lost possession allowing Andres Iniesta to set up the Argentine for a left-footed strike into the bottom corner.
The evening got worse for the visitors when goalkeeper Claudio Bravo was sent off for handling outside the box and minutes later Messi struck again.
Barcelona were also reduced to 10 men in the last 15 minutes as substitute Jeremy Mathieu was shown a second yellow card for a foul on Raheem Sterling, but by then the damage had been done.
Willy Caballero saved a late Neymar penalty – but the Brazilian scored from open play minutes later to complete a comprehensive win for the La Liga side.
The victory maintained Barcelona’s 100 per cent start in Group C and extended their lead over City to five points.
And it was another miserable return to the Nou Camp for Guardiola. During his celebrated four-year tenure as Barcelona manager the Catalan won 14 trophies, but he has now twice lost heavily to the Spaniards – the other being a 3-0 first-leg semi-final defeat with Bayern Munich.
Mesut Ozil scored a hat-trick after stunning goals from Alexis Sanchez and Theo Walcott as Arsenal dismantled Ludogorets Razgrad 6-0 in a ruthless Champions League display.
Sanchez got the first with a masterful chip from just inside the box.
Walcott powered a curling shot home after Ludogorets’ Wanderson hit a post.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain smashed a loose ball into the corner for the third, before Ozil scored three times in a game for the first time in his career.
The Gunners have now won seven games in a row in all competitions – scoring 23 goals – and are undefeated in 11 matches.
Their last defeat was at home to Liverpool on the opening day of the Premier League season.
Victory over Bulgarian champions Ludogorets means Arsenal top Group A ahead of Paris St-Germain, who beat Basel 3-0, on goal difference.
Bayern Munich dispelled any doubts about their commitment by ending a three-match winless run with a comfortable 4-1 victory over PSV Eindhoven today.
Bayern wobbled briefly after PSV had cut the deficit to 2-1 but quickly restored their dominance to extend their Champions League home record of 14 consecutive wins.
Thomas Mueller opened the scoring in the 13th, Joshua Kimmich doubled the lead in the 21st, before Luciano Narsingh pulled one back for the visiting team in the 43rd with their first shot at goal.
Robert Lewandowski scored in the 59th, just as PSV seemed to be making a comeback and Arjen Robben got the insurance in the 84th.
Bayern now have six points in Group D, while Atletico Madrid, which won 1-0 in Rostov, have nine. PSV and FC Rostov are both one point each.
Today’s other scores: Dynamo Kiev 0, Benfica 2; Napoli 2-Besiktas; Celtic 0, Borussia Monchengladbach 2.