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Record-breaker Messi leads Barça stroll at APOEL

Published: Tuesday 25 November 2014, 23.11CET
APOEL FC 0-4 FC Barcelona
The night belonged to Lionel Messi as his Group F treble in Nicosia made him the UEFA Champions League's all-time top scorer on 74 goals.
by Vassiliki Papantonopoulou
from GSP Stadium

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Match statistics

APOELBarcelona

Goals scored0
4
Possession (%)26
 
74
Total attempts3
 
20
on target1
 
7
off target2
 
8
blocked0
5
against woodwork0
 
0
Corners0
7
Offsides3
 
2
Yellow cards3
 
3
Red Cards1
 
1
Fouls committed16
 
5
Fouls suffered3
 
14
Passes205
 
827
completed164
 
776

Standings

Group F

PPts
Paris Saint-Germain Paris513
FC Barcelona Barcelona512
AFC Ajax Ajax52
APOEL FC APOEL51

Legend:

P: Played   
Pts: Points   
Last updated: 25/06/2015 17:50 CET
 
Published: Tuesday 25 November 2014, 23.11CET

Record-breaker Messi leads Barça stroll at APOEL

APOEL FC 0-4 FC Barcelona
The night belonged to Lionel Messi as his Group F treble in Nicosia made him the UEFA Champions League's all-time top scorer on 74 goals.

Lionel Messi nets his 72nd, 73rd and 74th UEFA Champions League goals at APOEL
Luis Suárez gives the visitors the lead with his first strike for Barcelona
Xavi Hernández comes off the bench for a record 145th appearance in the competition
Rafinha and João Guilherme are sent off in the second half
Next games: Ajax v APOEL, Barcelona v Paris (10 December)

Three days after rewriting the record books as the Spanish Liga's all-time leading scorer, Lionel Messi made history in the UEFA Champions League too. The FC Barcelona talisman scored a Group F hat-trick against APOEL FC in Nicosia to make his own the record of most UEFA Champions League goals he had hitherto shared with Raúl González on 71 strikes.

His first of the evening – the record-breaker – was not a typical Messi effort. Rafinha fired a low shot from the edge of APOEL's area which the Argentinian, stretching out his right foot, deflected to send past goalkeeper Urko Pardo and double the lead given the visitors by Luis Suárez. If anything, it was a Raúl-like goal which had enabled Messi to surpass the player who was previously this competition's foremost marksman.

Early in the second half, the Barcelona No10 added his second. Collecting a great through ball by Daniel Alves, he sprang the offside trap and clipped past Pardo for goal No73 at this level. In truth, the Blaugrana captain and his team had been in charge since the first whistle, aiming for a quick goal that would define the complexion of the game. Messi came close early on, but his old team-mate at La Masia, Urko Pardo, blocked the attempt.

Luis Enrique's men had their foot on the throttle, keeping Pardo busy. He intervened to deny Suárez and then saw Jordi Alba miss a glorious chance from a delightful Messi pass. But APOEL's luck ran out in the 27th minute. Suárez took the ball, turned a defender and beat Pardo with a neat finish to open his Barcelona account. He might have repeated the trick before half-time, yet somehow fluffed his lines. Pedro Rodríguez also threatened after a mesmerising run by Messi, but the former's strike went just wide of Pardo's post.

If APOEL were too busy defending in the first period, they came out after the interval determined to give their fans something to cheer. After conceding the third goal they grew more adventurous and started getting around Marc-André ter Stegen's box. The keeper was forced into a brilliant stop in the 66th minute to repel substitute Tomás De Vincenti powerful drive.

The later exchanges were enlivened by the entrance of Xavi Hernández for his 145th UEFA Champions League outing, a competition record that can be equalled tomorrow by Iker Casillas. Then Rafinha and João Guilherme each saw red after a second yellow card. The final word, though, went to Messi who completed his treble with three minutes to play.

Barcelona, in second, next face Paris Saint-Germain at Camp Nou in a first-place showdown, while APOEL must win in Amsterdam to pip AFC Ajax to the UEFA Europa League spot.

Last updated: 29/05/15 4.59CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2015/matches/round=2000548/match=2014381/postmatch/report/index.html#messi+shoots+down+apoel

Lineups

apoel

APOEL

barcelona

Barcelona

78
PardoUrko Pardo (GK)
1
ter StegenMarc-André ter Stegen (GK)
3
João GuilhermeJoão Guilherme
Yellow Card54
Red Card84
3
PiquéGerard Piqué
5
CarlãoCarlão
Yellow Card31
4
RakitićIvan Rakitić
Substitution62
8
Tiago GomesTiago Gomes
7
Pedro RodríguezPedro Rodríguez
9
SheridanCillian Sheridan
9
SuárezLuis Suárez
Goal27
Substitution77
15
AntoniadesMarios Antoniades
10
MessiLionel Messi (C)
Goal38
Goal58
Goal87
16
ViniciusVinicius
Substitution74
12
RafinhaRafinha
Yellow Card35
Red Card70
21
ManducaGustavo Manduca
Substitution63
14
MascheranoJavier Mascherano
26
Nuno MoraisNuno Morais (C)
15
BartraMarc Bartra
28
Mário SérgioMário Sérgio
18
Jordi AlbaJordi Alba
Substitution62
46
AloneftisStathis Aloneftis
Substitution46
22
Dani AlvesDani Alves
Yellow Card33

Substitutes

22
ChiotisDionisios Chiotis (GK)
13
BravoClaudio Bravo (GK)
6
John Arne RiiseJohn Arne Riise
5
BusquetsSergio Busquets
Substitution77
7
EfremGeorge Efrem
Substitution46
6
Xavi HernándezXavi Hernández
Substitution62
11
AlexandrouNektarios Alexandrou
11
NeymarNeymar
23
PapazoglouTasos Papazoglou
21
AdrianoAdriano
Substitution62
30
De VincentiTomás De Vincenti
Substitution63
24
MathieuJérémy Mathieu
79
DjebbourRafik Djebbour
Substitution74
31
Munir El HaddadiMunir El Haddadi

Coach

Giorgos Donis (GRE) Luis Enrique (ESP)

Referee

Gianluca Rocchi (ITA)

Assistant referees

Gianluca Cariolato (ITA), Alessandro Giallatini (ITA)

Fourth official

Riccardo Di Fiore (ITA)

Additional assistant referees

Paolo Mazzoleni (ITA), Carmine Russo (ITA)

Legend:

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