Barcelona 5-1 Ferencvaros: Lionel Messi sets new record

Barcelona 5-1 Ferencvaros: Lionel Messi and Ansu Fati score but Gerard Pique is sent off after giving away a second-half penalty meaning he will be BANNED for Juventus next week

Barcelona 5-1 Ferencvaros Lionel Messi sets new record
Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring Barcelona’s opener in the first half against Ferencvaros

(The African Stand) — Lionel Messi scored in a joint record 16th Champions League season and 17-year-old Pedri netted his first senior goal as Barcelona beat Ferencvaros.

Messi struck from the penalty spot to give Barca the lead after he was felled at the end of a weaving run.

Ansu Fati volleyed Barca’s second, with Philippe Coutinho adding a third.

Gerard Pique was sent off for a foul that set up Ihor Kharatin to narrow the deficit with a penalty, but Pedri and Ousmane Dembele ensured Barca’s win.

Pique’s dismissal is a costly one for the Spanish side, with the experienced defender now suspended for their trip to Italian champions Juventus in-game week two.

But Barca will be lifted by Pedri’s low finish, with the teenager already starting to draw attention to himself after just a handful of appearances for the club.

His contribution is a serious rival to Messi’s for the headline of the evening, with the Argentine forward’s goal taking him level with former Manchester United winger Ryan Giggs as the players to have scored in the most separate Champions League campaigns.

Messi also assisted the goal for Dembele, who stepped off the bench to add to what was a mood-brightening evening for the La Liga side, who have spent the summer trying to rebuild after their humiliating exit at the hands of Bayern Munich in last season’s Champions League.

They have had an inconsistent start to their league campaign under Ronald Koeman, underlined by a shock loss to Getafe at the weekend.

After that game, Koeman said that the performances of talisman Messi, who spent the summer angling for a move away from the club with whom he has spent his entire career, “could be better”.

Barcelona 5-1 Ferencvaros Lionel Messi sets new record
Francisco Trincao celebrates with Ansu Fati after his goal put Barcelona in complete control

On Tuesday he was.

The Dutchman also said he did not believe Barca were favourites for either La Liga or the Champions League this season but that “we can go far”.

Observers had great reason to doubt even this qualification in the first quarter of Tuesday’s game, during which Tokmac Nguen had a superb solo goal ruled out for offside and Isael hammered a drive against the crossbar.

But Messi’s strike settled them and from there they grew into the game and began to show a bit of their old swagger.

The re-building job remains a work in progress and the Ferencvaros result is far from a barometer.

But, if Koeman can continue to get a tune out of Messi and consistent support from the likes of Coutinho, Dembele, and Pedri, the future may not be as glum as it once seemed.

Ericson Mangoli

Written by Ericson Mangoli

Ericson Mangoli is the founder of African Stand, based in Nairobi Kenya, Ericson leads a splendid group of correspondents, independent writers, investigators, analysts, and supporters from around the globe to run African Stand as a supervisor and the chief editor.

Ericson Mangoli's editorial experience ranges more than 5 years and covers all the sports news, and at times including business and venture, data innovation, legislative issues, strategy, basic freedoms, science detailing, and significantly more.

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