Messi marks European century in Barcelona win

Lionel Messi scored his 100th European goal as Barcelona made light of Gerard Pique’s red card to brush aside Olympiakos in the Champions League.

Argentine, 30, whipped a free-kick through goalkeeper Silvio Proto’s gloves to score the hosts’ second after Dimitris Nikolaou’s own-goal opener.

Messi then set up Lucas Digne for a third before Nikolaou’s fine header grabbed a late consolation.

Pique had been shown a second yellow for a handball just before the break.

The central defender instinctively bundled the ball into the Olympiakos goal with his forearm when Gerard Deulofeu’s shot was parried into his path five yards out.

He protested his innocence to Scottish referee Willie Collum but rightly received his first Champions League red card.

Messi becomes only the second player after Real Madrid rival Cristiano Ronaldo to reach three figures in European competition.

Ronaldo has 112 goals in 151 games in continental competition. Messi’s century has arrived in 122 games.

Elsewhere, Paris St-Germain’s expensively assembled forward line all got on the scoresheet as Kylian Mbappe, Edinson Cavani and world-record buy Neymar scored against underlecht before Angel di Maria completed a 4-0 win away in Belgium

Azerbaijani champions Qarabag secured their first ever Champions League point as they held Atletico Madrid – runners-up in two of the past four seasons – to a 0-0 draw in Baku.

Qarabag held their illustrious visitors at bay despite playing the final 10 minutes with only 10 men after striker Dino Ndlovu was shown a second yellow card after an apparent dive.

The result leaves Atletico third in Group C with two points, three points behind Roma and five behind leaders Chelsea, at the halfway stage of qualification for the knock-out phases.

“I believe in these players and we’re capable of changing the group situation around,” coach Diego Simeone said.

“I’m feeling good and the side too.”


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