Barca wins but Messi falls short of Ron­aldo’s record

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

Lionel Messi opened the scor­ing in Barcelona’s 4-0 win over Borus­sia Moenchenglad­bach yes­ter­day, but fell short of match­ing Cris­tiano Ron­aldo’s goal record in the group stage of the Cham­pi­ons League.

Messi struck his 10th group-stage goal this sea­son, one less than the 11 net­ted by Ron­aldo with Real Madrid last sea­son to set the record. Arda Tu­ran scored a hat trick for Barcelona, which had al­ready se­cured first place in Group C. Moenchenglad­bach fin­ished third and will play in the Europa League next sea­son. All po­si­tions had al­ready been de­cided ahead of Tues­day’s fi­nal round. Manch­ester City drew 1-1 with Celtic in Eng­land in the other match of the group. Barcelona fin­ished with 15 points, six more than Man City. Moenchenglad­bach ended with five points and win­less Celtic with three.

Messi scored in the 16th minute at Camp Nou af­ter a one-two with Tu­ran in­side the Moenchenglad­bach area. The Ar­gen­tine slid be­hind the de­fend­ers and fired home a low left­foot shot af­ter re­ceiv­ing Tu­ran’s re­turn pass. Messi had a great chance to match Ron­aldo’s record in the 73rd, but his close-range header was bril­liantly saved on the goal line by goal­keeper Yann Som­mer. Tu­ran scored in the 50th, 53rd and 67th min­utes to help the Cata­lan club end a three­game win­less streak. It con­ceded a 90th-minute equal­izer in a 1-1 home draw against Real Madrid in the Span­ish league on Satur­day. Barcelona was with­out for­ward Ney­mar and mid­fielder Ivan Rakitic be­cause of sus­pen­sions.

Coach Luis En­rique also rested striker Luis Suarez, giv­ing a chance to re­cently signed for­ward Paco Al­cacer, who has been crit­i­cized by Barcelona fans for his lack­lus­ter per­for­mances. Ron­aldo last year be­came the first player to reach dou­ble fig­ures in the six games of the group stage. Messi played in only five matches for Barcelona this sea­son, but he twice scored hat tricks - in the home games against Celtic and Manch­ester City. He also net­ted once against City in Manch­ester and twice against Celtic in Glas­gow.

Ron­aldo today will try to be­come the first player to score 100 goals in Euro­pean com­pe­ti­tions. He is two short of the milestone head­ing into the game against Borus­sia Dort­mund at the Santiago Bern­abeu Sta­dium. Messi now has 93 goals over­all in the Cham­pi­ons League, two less than Ron­aldo. — AP

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