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Played
September 19, 2013 2:45 AM SGT
Camp Nou — Barcelona
Referee:‬ S. Moen‎
Attendance:‬ 79412‎
 
22′ Lionel Messi
 
55′ Lionel Messi
 
69′ Piqué
 
75′ Lionel Messi
 
Top of the Match
Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
FC Barcelona
Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
FC Barcelona
Flop of the Match
Niklas Moisander
Niklas Moisander
Ajax
Kolbeinn Sigthórsson
Kolbeinn Sigthórsson
Ajax

Barcelona 4-0 Ajax: Messi hat-trick seals convincing win

The Argentine matched Cristiano Ronaldo's efforts for Real Madrid on Tuesday by firing the Blaugrana to victory with three goals

Pete Marshall

LIONEL MESSI BARCELONA AJAX UCL 09182013
Getty
Lionel Messi once more took centre stage as his hat-trick helped Barcelona to a 4-0 victory over Ajax in the Champions League.

The Argentinian scored in both halves of the Group H fixture at Camp Nou to give the Blaugrana victory in their opening European encounter.

It marked an emotional Champions League debut for coach Gerardo Martino, with the win coming just a few days after the death of his father.

After a bright opening, Messi broke the deadlock with fierce free-kick in the 22nd minute.

His second came 10 minutes after half-time with a cool finish from inside the area, before Gerard Pique put gloss on the scoreline with a header from Neymar’s cross and Messi completed his treble when he feigned his shot before guiding an effort into the corner.

Kolbeinn Sigthorsson could have grabbed a consolation, but he saw his 77th-minute penalty saved by Victor Valdes.

Martino included Messi and Neymar in Barcelona’s starting XI, with the latter making his Champions League debut.

The Dutch side had Siem de Jong available, following his recovery from a collapsed lung.

Barcelona dominated possession in the opening exchanges and they took the lead when Messi once again displayed his brilliance with a stunning free kick, 22 minutes in.

After being felled by Lerin Duarte on the right, he picked himself up to hit a thunderous strike, with the ball going in off the the post as Kenneth Vermeer failed to keep it out at full stretch.

Ajax nearly stole an equaliser on the half-hour mark when Bojan curled a cross deep towards the far post and a diving header from Ricardo van Rhijn forced a smart reaction save from Valdes.

The visitors could have had a penalty when Sigthorsson went to ground under a challenge from Pique. The loose ball was met by Duarte, but he placed his first-time effort straight at Valdes.

After surviving those scares, Messi effectively ended the game as a contest in the 55th minute.

He controlled a Sergio Busquets pass on the right side of the box before feinting inside Stefano Denswil and firing his effort past Vermeer.

Barcelona continued to press and Neymar and Dani Alves both had efforts blocked.

And the pressure told in the 69th minute when Neymar delivered an in-swinging cross from the left that was met by the head of Pique to make it 3-0.

Messi then completed his hat-trick with 15 minutes remaining. His shimmy confused the whole defence, including Vermeer, before he slotted into the far corner.

Ajax could have had a consolation when Javier Mascherano fouled substitute Thulani Serero in the area but Sigthorsson saw his penalty beaten away by Valdes.


FC Barcelona

1
Víctor Valdés
Goalkeeper
77′
4.00
21
Adriano
Midfielder
3.50
22
Daniel Alves
Defender
3.50
3
Piqué
Defender
69′ 80′
3.50
16
Busquets
Midfielder
55′
3.50
4
Cesc Fàbregas
Midfielder
72′
3.00
8
3.50
14
Javier Mascherano
Midfielder
3.50
9
3.00
10
Lionel Messi
Striker
22′ 55′ 75′
4.50
11
Neymar
Striker
69′ 72′
3.50

Ajax

2.00
1
2.50
17
Daley Blind
Midfielder
78′
2.50
15
N. Boilesen
Defender
2.00
25
2.50
34
3.00
32
1.50
5
2.50
-
Lerin Duarte
Midfielder
2.50
10
Siem de Jong
Midfielder
59′
3.00
-

Substitutes

13
 - 
15
Bartra
Defender
80′
3.00
2
Montoya
Defender
 - 
17
Alex Song
Midfielder
 - 
6
Xavi
Midfielder
72′ 75′
3.50
7
Pedro
Striker
72′
3.00
20
Tello
Striker
 - 

Substitutes

 - 
22
2.50
-
2.50
20
Lasse Schöne
Midfielder
78′
3.00
25
Thulani Serero
Midfielder
59′
 - 
-
 - 
19
 - 
35

Coach/Manager

Coach/Manager

 - 
-
 
  • Goal
  • Own Goal
  • Penalty
  • Penalty Missed
  • Yellow Card
  • Assist
  • Penalty Save
  • Penalty Shootout Goal
  • Penalty Shootout Miss
  • Yellow Card / Red Card
  • Red Card
  • Substitution IN
  • Substitution OUT
  • Injury
  • Goal.com Rating
  • Goal.com Man of the Match
  • Goal.com Flop of the Match
  • Top & Flop Global Ranking
  • Fans' Man of the Match
  • Fans' Flop of the Match
Results
Group A Matchday 1
Times In SGT
 
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Cristiano Ronaldo Cristiano Ronaldo
Striker
Real Madrid
14 1
Zlatan Ibrahimovic Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Striker
PSG
10 1
Lionel Messi Lionel Messi
Striker
Barcelona
8 2
Diego Costa Diego Costa
Striker
Atl. Madrid
7 0
Sergio Agüero Sergio Agüero
Striker
Man City
6 2