Messi sets Champions League record
NICOSIA, Cyprus – Lionel Messi netted a hat trick to shatter the Champions League goal scoring record as Barcelona won 4-0 at APOEL today, while Sergio Aguero also bagged three goals as Manchester City snatched a 3-2 victory over ten-man Bayern Munich.
Messi took his tally to 74 with his fifth Champions League hat trick in 91 matches. The previous record of 71 goals had been set by former Real Madrid and Schalke striker Raul over the course of 142 matches.
“I am happy for having achieved such a nice record in a competition of this importance, but the really relevant thing is that we took the three points,” Messi said. “Barca played a great match.”
Luis Suarez had opened the scoring with his first competitive goal since moving from Liverpool in the summer.
The 27-year-old Messi had broken the Spanish league’s goal scoring record at the weekend with a hat trick and he did the same in Europe’s elite club competition.
Messi broke the record in the 38th minute, when he redirected Rafinha’s effort from 20 yards out, and he doubled his tally in the 58th, chipping Daniel Alves’ through-ball past APOEL goalkeeper Urko Pardo.
The Argentina forward completed his hat trick with a tap in three minutes from time.
Also in Group F, Paris Saint-Germain beat Ajax 3-1. Barcelona and PSG had already qualified for the knockout stages and play each other next to decide the group winner.
In City’s Group E, a last-gasp goal saw CSKA Moscow snatch a 1-1 draw against Roma, which leaves all three teams level in the battle for second spot.
Chelsea cruised past Schalke 5-0 to seal its spot in the knockout stages, with the German side now needing to win in Maribor in the final match to leapfrog Sporting Lisbon which beat the Slovenian club 3-1.
Shakhtar Donetsk had already secured progression before their 1-0 defeat at home to Athletic Bilbao, thanks to already-qualified Porto’s 3-0 win over BATE Borisov earlier.