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Messi rebounds as 10-men Barca thrash Ferencvaros 5-1 ahead of el Classico

Yahoo News

Lionel Messi finally breaks goal drought and sets Champions League record scoring in 16th straight season. The Argentine’s early goal sets the tone to Ronald Koeman’s side 5-1 win over Ferencvaros in their Group G opener on Tuesday.

The Argentine was brought down in the 18-yard box, earning a penalty for Blaugrana. Six-time Ballon d’Or winner dispatched a spot-kick, giving his team a lead on 27th minute of the encounter at Camp Nou.

Messi has now netted in the Champions League for 16 seasons in a row. Barca’s striker joined ex-Manchester United wing-man Ryan Giggs in that regard. From 2011 until Tuesday former Wales international was the only player in Europe’s elite club competition who reached that feat.

The all-time top goalscorer in the Champions League group stage also extended his record to 49 goals. Messi’s goal at Camp Nou also became his first in five most recent matches for Barcelona.

The other Catalonian side’s scorers were Ansu Fati, Philippe Coutinho, Pedri and Ousmane Dembele. Barca defender Gerard Pique was dismissed for a foul inside his box, which led to a spot-kick converted by Ihor Kharatin.

“The penalty and the red card is very bad for us but we are getting used to playing with one less. It happened at Celta Vigo and again today. It’s too harsh a punishment. If it’s foul, it’s a penalty and a yellow card. I don’t understand why the referee produced the red card. But we have to accept it.”

Koeman

Fati’s and Pedri’s goals mean Barca became the first side in European football history to have two goalscorers under the age of 17 during a single Champions League match.  

Earlier on Tuesday, Juventus opened their Group G campaign with a 2-0 victory at Dynamo Kiyv. Juve’s striker Cristiano Ronaldo wasn’t able to face Ukrainian team because he has tested positive for COVID-19. It is unclear whether the Portuguese will be able to play against Barcelona on 28th of October. 

Koeman’s men will now focus on Saturday’s encounter against bitter rivals Real Madrid. Title-defending team Real is in 3rd position in the domestic league table with 10 points, while Barca is in 9th position with 7 points.