Stylish Barca beat Ajax, Shakhtar hit BATE for seven

PSG stay top of Group F with narrow win over APOEL, Porto lead Group H after Athletic Bilbao win

Group F

Neymar and Lionel Messi maintained their lethal partnership with a goal apiece as Barcelona swept aside Ajax 3-1 in Champions League Group F on Tuesday.

The Argentine was the provider, slipping the ball through for Neymar to hit the opener with a clinical finish into the corner after seven minutes, the he struck midway through the half to put the hosts in control.

Andres Iniesta threaded the ball through to the Argentine and his shot from the centre of the penalty area squirmed under keeper Jasper Cillessen.


Messi now has 69 Champions League goals, as does Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo with the duo two off all-time leading scorer Raul.

As Barca sat back Anwar El Ghazi knocked home a loose ball inside the area to unsettle the Camp Nou crowd. However, in injury time substitute Sandro Ramirez wrapped the game up with a fine strike into the bottom corner .

Barcelona are second in the group behind leaders Paris St Germain. After a season of adjustment Messi and Neymar are now looking dangerous together with 17 goals between them so far this season as they now set their sights on Real Madrid and El Clasico in La Liga this Saturday.

Paris St Germain's Edinson Cavani made up for the absence of talismanic frontman Zlatan Ibrahimovic by netting in the 87th minute to give the French side a 1-0 win over APOEL Nicosia.

The Uruguayan had toiled all night and appeared to be carrying a knock but was on hand to give the French side an undeserved win that kept them top of Group F on seven points.

Devoid of any cohesion and rhythm going forward, PSG were unable to create a clear goalscoring opportunity all night against a well-drilled and organised APOEL side until Cavani managed to bundle the ball home from close range.

The Cypriot side, who are bottom of the group with one point, will feel they created the better chances during the match to merit a win, but were left to curse their luck as a lack of quality and two goal-line clearances from David Luiz kept them at bay.

Group G

A stoppage-time penalty from Schalke 04's Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting snatched a 4-3 win against Portugal's Sporting for their first victory and a winning return to the competition for new coach Roberto Di Matteo.

In a rollercoaster game, Schalke squandered a two-goal lead after coming from a goal down when Adrien Silva struck twice in the second half. But Choupo-Moting kept his cool to win the game for Schalke deep in stoppage time.

Portugal winger Nani, on loan from Manchester United this season, had put the visitors ahead on 14 minutes before Schalke levelled through Nigerian Chinedu Obasi with the Portuguese down to 10 men after the dismissal of Mauricio in the 33rd.

It looked all over when second-half goals from Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and captain Benedikt Höwedes put the hosts two goals ahead. But two goals from Silva, a spot kick and a header with 12 minutes remaining, looked to have turned the game around before Chuopo-Moting’s last-gasp penalty.

Schalke are second in Group G on five points, two behind leaders Chelsea, who crushed Slovenia’s Maribor 6-0. Sporting are on one.

Group H

Brazilian striker Luiz Adriano struck five times, becoming the first player in Champions League history to score four goals in the opening half, as Shakhtar Donetsk trounced BATE Borisov 7-0 in Group H.

On a record-breaking night, Luiz Adriano joined Barcelona’s Messi as the only players to hit five goals in a Champions League game.

Shakhtar’s 6-0 halftime lead also set a new record for Europe’s elite club competition.

The Ukrainians are now second in the group on five points, two behind leaders Porto who beat Athletic Bilbao 2-1.

BATE are third with three points from three matches while Athletic have one.

The beleaguered Belarussians, unbeaten at home for more than a year, went behind in the 11th minute when Taison stole the ball in midfield and freed Alex Teixeira who rounded keeper Sergei Chernik to score. Teixeira also had a hand in the second goal after 28 minutes when he was brought down by Chernik and Luiz Adriano converted the spot kick.

Taison played a part in Douglas Costa’s third from close range before Luiz Adriano produced an angled drive to make it 4-0.

The 27-year-old Brazilian marksman then completed the fastest hat-trick in the competition with another neat finish in the 40th minute.

There was still time before the interval for Luiz Adriano to add to BATE’s misery with a sixth goal for Shakhtar before he completed the rout with a penalty in the 82nd minute.