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Irresistible Barça brush Ajax aside

Published: Tuesday 21 October 2014, 23.00CET
FC Barcelona 3-1 AFC Ajax
Goals from Neymar and Lionel Messi gave Barcelona control of the matchday three encounter to keep the pressure on the Group F leaders.
by Graham Hunter
from Camp Nou

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Match statistics

BarcelonaAjax

Goals scored3
 
1
Possession (%)59
 
41
Total attempts17
 
9
on target6
 
1
off target9
 
4
blocked2
 
4
against woodwork1
 
0
Corners3
 
3
Offsides3
 
0
Yellow cards1
 
3
Red Cards0
 
0
Fouls committed10
 
17
Fouls suffered17
 
9
Passes582
 
338
completed546
 
308

Standings

Legend:

P: Played   
Pts: Points   
Last updated: 25/06/2015 17:50 CET
 
Published: Tuesday 21 October 2014, 23.00CET

Irresistible Barça brush Ajax aside

FC Barcelona 3-1 AFC Ajax
Goals from Neymar and Lionel Messi gave Barcelona control of the matchday three encounter to keep the pressure on the Group F leaders.

Lionel Messi masterclass takes him closer to all-time UEFA Champions League scoring record
Barcelona maintain 100% win record at home this season
Javier Mascherano's second consecutive game in central midfield is peerless
Scorers Neymar and Messi substituted early with view to Clásico in Madrid on Saturday
Sandro Ramírez restores two-goal cushion after Anwar El Ghazi's Ajax consolation
Next games: Ajax v Barcelona (5 November)

FC Barcelona produced their performance of the season to beat AFC Ajax 3-1 and keep the pressure on Group F leaders Paris Saint-Germain.

Neymar and Lionel Messi took the game away from the Dutch champions in a 17-minute first-half burst. From the first minute Luis Enrique's side played with zip and purpose. Ajax, given a four-goal beating the last time they played at Camp Nou, worked with intensity and intelligence to contain the threat but their being breached was just a matter of time.

When it came, the opener carried all the 'Barça' hallmarks. Gerard Piqué began the move and the ball fizzed between Ivan Rakitić, Pedro Rodríguez and Messi before his deft pass gave his Brazilian team-mate a sight of goal. Using the instep of his right boot Neymar curved a fabulous drive beyond Jasper Cillessen.

Next Marc Barta's laser-guided delivery helped set up Messi who scooped over – but his moment would arrive. Niki Zimling, aiming to find Lucas Andersen, had his pass intercepted by Javier Mascherano. He found Andrés Iniesta who executed the pass of the night and despite Cillessen touching Messi's finish it became his 69th goal in this competition, tied with Cristiano Ronaldo.

Kudos to Ajax. Under siege, lacking key players and gasping for oxygen, they tried to play. Combination football; flat-out efforts to mark Messi via a tag-team of Niklas Moisander, Zimling, Nick Viergever and Davy Klaassen. Valiantly though they worked, Messi has been given "total freedom" by his coach and he exploited it. Another combination between Bartra, Pedro and Messi left Pedro firing a fierce diagonal shot off Cillessen's post.

It meant Ajax were still in it and that impression was cemented when Cillessen conjured a prodigious save one-on-one to touch Iniesta's chip past the upright. Ajax couldn't allow the gift of that fingertip grasp on the game to escape them, yet while the second half showed them play with more conviction two big chances eluded Frank de Boer's men.

Ricardo van Rhijn sliced wide of Marc-André ter Stegen's goal when he was required to hit the target and, in the 62nd minute, Piqué's wild swipe at a cross sliced the ball up and onto the roof of his own net. But not in it. For most of the last quarter Enrique played without his goalscorers and Iniesta – with a view to facing Real Madrid CF this weekend.

Consequently the win ended with more game time for youngsters Munir El Haddadi, Rafinha and Sandro Ramírez – whose 94th-minute contribution was to restore the two-goal advantage following Ajax substitute Anwar El Ghazi's strike.

Last updated: 29/05/15 5.55CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2015/matches/round=2000548/match=2014350/postmatch/report/index.html#barca+brush+ajax+aside

Lineups

barcelona

Barcelona

ajax

Ajax

1
ter StegenMarc-André ter Stegen (GK)
22
CillessenJasper Cillessen (GK)
3
PiquéGerard Piqué
2
Van RhijnRicardo van Rhijn
Yellow Card69
4
RakitićIvan Rakitić
3
VeltmanJoël Veltman
Yellow Card32
7
Pedro RodríguezPedro Rodríguez
Yellow Card80
4
MoisanderNiklas Moisander (C)
8
IniestaAndrés Iniesta (C)
Substitution76
9
SigthórssonKolbeinn Sigthórsson
Substitution73
10
MessiLionel Messi
Goal24
Substitution67
10
KlaassenDavy Klaassen
11
NeymarNeymar
Goal7
Substitution62
11
KishnaRicardo Kishna
Substitution46
14
MascheranoJavier Mascherano
16
AndersenLucas Andersen
15
BartraMarc Bartra
20
SchöneLasse Schöne
18
Jordi AlbaJordi Alba
26
ViergeverNick Viergever
22
Dani AlvesDani Alves
32
ZimlingNiki Zimling
Substitution56

Substitutes

13
BravoClaudio Bravo (GK)
33
BoerDiederik Boer (GK)
2
MontoyaMartín Montoya
8
DuarteLerin Duarte
6
Xavi HernándezXavi Hernández
12
RiedewaldJairo Riedewald
Substitution56
Yellow Card90
12
RafinhaRafinha
Substitution76
19
MilikArkadiusz Milik
Substitution46
26
SamperSergi Samper
21
El GhaziAnwar El Ghazi
Substitution73
Goal88
29
RamírezSandro Ramírez
Substitution62
Goal90+4
24
DenswilStefano Denswil
31
El HaddadiMunir El Haddadi
Substitution67
34
MenigQueensy Menig

Coach

Luis Enrique (ESP) Frank de Boer (NED)

Referee

William Collum (SCO)

Assistant referees

Damien MacGraith (IRL), Graham Chambers (SCO)

Fourth official

Stuart Stevenson (SCO)

Additional assistant referees

Bobby Madden (SCO), John Beaton (SCO)

Legend:

  • GoalsGoals
  • Own goalOwn goal
  • PenaltiesPenalties
  • Missed PenaltiesMissed Penalties
  • reds_cardRed Cards
  • yellow_cardsYellow cards
  • yellow_red_cardsYellow/red card
  • SubstitutionSubstitution