MINSK - Lionel Messi scored twice and
moved higher up the record books as Barcelona crushed BATE
Borisov 5-0 away for their first win in Champions League Group H
The World Player of the Year headed the third just before
the break and smashed the fourth high into the net to equal
Ladislau Kubala as Barca's second highest scorer of all time
with 194 goals.
Messi, 24, is now only 41 goals behind top scorer Cesar
"As [coach] Pep Guardiola said on the weekend we are
watching history being made," Barca´s other Argentine Javier
Mascherano told Spanish radio.
"We should try and enjoy it, because we know it will be very
difficult to see another player like him."
An own goal from BATE´s Aleksandr Volodko in the 19th minute
and a header from Pedro three minutes later had set Barca on
course for a victory in which they barely broke a sweat. David
Villa wrapped up the scoring at the end.
Barca had started their title defence with a 2-2 draw at
home to AC Milan two weeks ago and went level on four points
with the Italians at the top of the group after Milan won 2-0 at
home to Viktoria Plzen.
BATE set their stall out with 10 yellow shirts staying back
and former Chelsea striker Mateja Kezman a very lonely figure up
front as Barca were utterly dominant.
The visitors at first found it crowded and did not get a
clear sniff of goal until Daniel Alves floated a cross in
towards the back post and Volodko turned the ball into his own
net under pressure from Messi.
BATE were quickly two behind when an similar move, this time
from left to right, saw Villa dink a ball over the defence and
Pedro arrived before hesitant home keeper Aleksandr Gutor to
The visitors were almost playing at walking pace when Gutor
gifted them a third, fumbling a straightforward cross under his
bar and Messi nodded into the open net in the 38th.
It was only Messi´s second headed goal in the Champions
League, after the one he scored in the final win over Manchester
United two years ago.
After a lengthy period of possession in the 56th minute,
Alves pulled the ball back for Messi, who despite being
surrounded by five defenders rifled a shot into the top corner.
Villa rounded off the scoring, breaching the offside trap to
slide home the fifth in the 90th minute as Barca matched their
biggest ever away win in the Champions League.
"It was a comfortable result, we hardly had any problems but
that was because we took it very seriously from the first
minute," Mascherano added.
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