Camp Nou - Barcelona 18/09/2013 - 20:45CET (20:45 local time)

Group stage - Group H

Barcelona - Ajax
4-0
 

Barcelona - Ajax 4-0 - 18/09/2013 - Match page - UEFA Champions League 2014

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Messi treble downs Ajax in opening Barça spree

Published: Wednesday 18 September 2013, 22.58CET
FC Barcelona 4-0 AFC Ajax
Gerardo Martino's team are on the march in Group H after overcoming a spirited Ajax side with three goals from that man Lionel Messi.
by Graham Hunter
from Camp Nou

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Messi

Top Player

Barcelona 

Match statistics

Barcelona
Ajax

4

Goals scored

0

56

Possession (%)

44

15

Total attempts

7

9

on target

6

6

off target

1

2

blocked

0

0

against woodwork

0

6

Corners

4

1

Offsides

1

0

Yellow cards

2

0

Red Cards

0

11

Fouls committed

14

13

Fouls suffered

10

685

Passes

558

581

completed

443

Lineups

barcelona

Barcelona

ajax

Ajax

1Víctor Valdés (GK) (C)1Vermeer (GK)
3Piqué
Goal69
Substitution80
2Van Rhijn
4Fàbregas
Substitution71
4Moisander
Yellow Card24
Substitution73
8Iniesta5C. Poulsen
9Alexis Sánchez8Duarte
10Messi
Goal22
Goal55
Goal75
9Sigthórsson
Penalty77
11Neymar
Substitution72
10S. De Jong (C)
Substitution59
14Mascherano11Krkić
16Busquets15Boilesen
21Adriano17Blind
Substitution78
22Daniel Alves24Denswil
Yellow Card85

Substitutes

13Pinto (GK)22Cillessen (GK)
2Montoya6Van Der Hoorn
Substitution73
6Xavi Hernández
Substitution71
7Fischer
7Pedro Rodríguez
Substitution72
19Sana
15Bartra
Substitution80
20Schøne
Substitution78
17Song23Hoesen
20Tello25Serero
Substitution59

Coaches

Gerardo Martino (ARG) Frank De Boer (NED)

Referee

Svein Oddvar Moen (NOR)

Standings

Last updated: 19/09/2013 10:34 CET

Legend:

P: Played   
Pts: Points   
 
 
  
Published: Wednesday 18 September 2013, 22.58CET

Messi treble downs Ajax in opening Barça spree

FC Barcelona 4-0 AFC Ajax
Gerardo Martino's team are on the march in Group H after overcoming a spirited Ajax side with three goals from that man Lionel Messi.

A brilliant Lionel Messi hat-trick, which leaves him within ten goals of overtaking Raúl González as the all-time UEFA Champions League top scorer, fuelled a powerful 4-0 win for FC Barcelona over AFC Ajax.

Gerard Piqué's second-half header added gloss but goalkeeper Víctor Valdés also earned an honourable mention for a string of good saves including from Kolbeinn Sigthórsson's 77th-minute penalty. The resulting Group H victory was the perfect introduction to the UEFA Champions League for Barcelona boss Gerardo Martino on matchday one.

There was a different sense of history right from the start as Frank de Boer's team began playing the patient, intelligent football for which they are historically famous – and which has inspired Barcelona from the days of the former coaches they share with Ajax: Vic Buckingham, Rinus Michels and, of course, Johan Cruyff.

Even if Neymar and Andrés Iniesta showed their intention of carrying the threat to Kenneth Vermeer's goalmouth at every possible occasion, the Dutch champions weathered the storm as best they could and started to construct good chances of their own. Nevertheless they were forced to do that from a position of deficit thanks to the man of the moment – in fact, of 62 such moments.

When Lerin Duarte committed a needless foul 25 metres from goal, immediately there was a sense of the inevitable. Messi is nothing if not an immensely competitive young man – all his fabulous talent aside – and seasoned watchers of the Barça No10 were widely predicting he would react to Cristiano Ronaldo's terrific treble for Real Madrid CF in Istanbul the previous night. He stepped up and scored, in the 22nd minute, with all the ease others would show for a one-metre tap-in.

Much as Martino's team looked at ease and worked hard after the breakthrough, the truth was that the visitors could have hit back twice, and indeed led, by half-time. Bojan Krkić, back at Camp Nou on loan with Ajax, bent a long raking cross from left to right on the half-hour and when Ricardo van Rhijn stooped to head on goal, it needed a top-quality reaction stop from Valdés. Then, before the break, a quick flowing move from the Amsterdam side ended with a firm drive into Valdés's midriff from Duarte.

That proved enough of an invitation for Messi to take charge. Playing with electric confidence he added the second on 55 minutes. Sergio Busquets broke forward, committed defenders and laid on a pass for the Argentinian maestro to skip around defender Stefano Denswil and score. Emphasis that this was the Blaugrana's night came when Neymar, on his competition debut, crossed a well-flighted assist which Piqué nodded over Vermeer with just over 20 minutes left.

The icing on the cake, from a deft Xavi Hernández assist, was Messi's slide-rule finish into the bottom corner for his third, Barça's fourth. The goal was his 62nd in the UEFA Champions League – and a move closer to all-time history.

Last updated: 14/04/14 16.35CET

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http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2014/matches/round=2000479/match=2011766/postmatch/report/index.html#messi+treble+downs+ajax

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