UCL Rewind: Messi scores 200th goal, Chelsea held by Genk and more

Messi (Getty Images)

By JOHN BOSCHINI

Lionel Messi took another step towards becoming the most prolific goal-scorer in Barcelona's history as the 24-year-old striker scored his 200th, 201st and 202nd goal for the club.

Messi's clinical penalty kick was the opening goal in Barcelona's straight-forward 4-0 victory over Viktoria Plezen as the defending champions officially booked a place in the knockout rounds and take pole position in Group H.

Messi drew the penalty in the 22nd minute with a cutback inside the box and was fouled by Marian Cisovsky. Cisovsky was show a red card and Messi sent Roman Pavlik the wrong way on the ensuing spot kick. Messi's second came in first-half stoppage time with a left-footed shot from the center of the penalty area. Cesc Fabregas added a third with a close-range header before Messi completed his hat trick just before the final whistle.

The only concern for Barcelona will be the suspension of Dani Alves for the upcoming match with AC Milan. The Brazilian left back picked up a yellow card in the 49th minute.

Here is a look back at the other Champions League results.

CHELSEA 1, RACING GENK 1

Chelsea's poor run of form could be reaching crisis levels as Andres Villas-Boas' side were held by tiny Genk. Ramires opened the scoring in the 25th minute with a nice combination with Fernando Torres for his first goal in Champions League play. Chelsea should have doubled their lead but defender David Luiz failed to convert from the penalty spot.

Genk equalized after a stretch of dominating Chelsea with Jelle Vossen scoring in the 61st minute. It was the first goal in the Champions League for the Belgians. Chelsea proceeded to waste a host of chances in the final half-hour, the most egregious of which was Frank Lampard putting a simple tap-in from three yards out wide.

VALENCIA 3, BAYER LEVERKUSEN 1

It didn't take long for Valencia to jump on Bayer Leverkusen as Jonas put the Spanish side up after just 11 seconds. Jonas pounced on a poor clearance from Bernd Leno to score the second-fastest goal in Champions League history. Stefan Kiebling equalized before halftime for Leverkusen but goals from Roberto Soldado and Adil Rami gave Valencia the victory.

ARSENAL 0, MARSEILLE 0

Arsenal are still in good position to advance into the knockout stages after a scoreless draw. Both teams had chances but failed to convert as Robin van Persie was again used as a substitute. Marseille and Arsenal are in good position at the top of Group F but must wait at least another matchday to secure advancement.

BORUSSIA DORTMUND 1, OLYMPIAKOS 0

The defending Bundesliga Champions salvaged their hopes of progression with a gritty 1-0 victory over Olumpiakos. Kevin Grosskreutz scored within the first 10 minutes and Dortmund's defense made the goal hold up. 

ZENIT ST. PETERSBURG 1, SHAKHTAR DONETSK 0

Nicolas Lombaerts' header just before halftime gave Zenit St. Petersburg a narrow victory and move them top of Group G. Overall, a 1-0 scoreline flatter Shakhtar, who were out-shot 19-5 with Shakhtar registering only one shot on target.

BATE BORISOV 1, AC MILAN 1

Renan Bressan converted a penalty midway through the second half to salvage a point for Bate Borisov. Ignazio Abate committed a foul inside the box to allow Bressan to beat Christian Abbiati to the bottom corner. The penalty canceled out Zlatan Ibrahimovic's goal as the Swede and Robinho combined on the counter-attack.

APOEL NICOSIA 2, FC PORTO 1

Apoel Nicosia continued their surprising Champions League run with a late winner from Gustavo Manduca as the Cypriot champions remain unbeaten in Europe. Hulk's penalty in the 89th seemed to salvage a draw for the Portuguese but Manduca's close-range strike sealed the victory.

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What did you think of today's results? Is Messi Barcelona's best player of all time? Surprised by Chelsea's draw? How far can Apoel Nicosia go?

Share your thoughts below.

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15 Responses to UCL Rewind: Messi scores 200th goal, Chelsea held by Genk and more

  1. Dinho says:

    202 goals (for his club alone) at 24 years old. Wow. Just, wow.

  2. hogatroge says:

    I’m loving APOEL’s run of good CL form. I got to see them play a few times this summer in Cyprus and am totally on the bandwagon!

  3. A wise man once says:

    One of my friends is still convinced Rooney’s better!

  4. Alex says:

    What say you know Pele??

  5. T says:

    Wow, 200th goal for Barca, very amazing…… however his national team form is all what is seperating him from becoming amongst the worlds “hierarchy” of world Footballing Legends, I believe he’ll be remembered as a phenomenal player when he’s done, but a series of World Cup titles titles cements him eternally, the only way he can become as beloved as Pele and Maradona are to the beautiful game.

  6. Jim in Atlanta says:

    KNOW!? LMFAO

  7. Khan says:

    Maradona and Pele had the hands down great teams of their generations in an age where international soccer was less competitive.

    Messi plays for a dysfunctional Argentine squad that cannot keep a coach for more than a few months and that has the misfortune of existing during the reign of Spain, a national team with something like 4 of the top 10 players in the world.

  8. Tom says:

    Messi is also leading CL scoring for the 4th year in a row.

  9. RS says:

    Pele=yes; Maradona=no.
    The 1986 and 1990 squads were not one of the best in their generation (look to early 1980s Brazil and mid-1980s France), nor the most efficient and consistent (West Germany=3 straight WC finals). If anything, Argentina’s win in 1986 is a testament to what a solid group of players with a true star can accomplish.

    If Argentina can improve its backline, and find a respectable distributor in midfield, the firepower of Aguero, Higuain, Messi, Di Maria (and maybe Pastore) is quite amazing. [Speaking of, these four players would be in most people's top 20 or 30 list right now].
    There’s simply no bridge between a shaky defense and the talent on the wings and up top.

    Also, this idea that Messi’s form hasn’t translated to the national team is not valid. Although he doesn’t score as much as in Barcelona, the lack of a creative midfielders and distributors in the national team forces Messi to take on that role. In Barca, he has Xavi, Iniesta, and Cesc serving him quality balls (with Dani Alves sometimes coming off the wings.) In Argentina, Di Maria comes closest to replicating Alves…but that’s it. Instead, Messi’s assists go up when playing for Argentina and he opens space for others to finish. At the end of the day, I’m sure Mess doesn’t care if he has 3 assists and 0 goals…as long as Argentina wins.

    Messi’s form, for club and country, is fine. The main issue (as Khan points out) is that the instability at AFA hurts the national team. Their poor choice of coaches (Batista, Maradona) affects the ability to develop continuity and identity within the national team. Sabella is a move in the right direction and AFA should not be quick to pull the plug on him if some bad results (like losing to Venezuela) occur. If you give a coach like Sabella, whose widely known as a good coach and a student of the game, space and job security to work with the quality of players Argentina possesses…2014 will be good to Messi & Co.

  10. tielor2d says:

    Dani Alves is a right back

  11. Bryan says:

    David Luiz takes penalties for Chelsea. I know Lampard and Drogba were out but does anyone else find that strange?

  12. PD says:

    that has nothing to do with him and everything to do with the argentina foot federation… he should become a spaniard, he pretty much lived there is whole life after the Argies pretty much said he wouldn’t amount to much for his size…

  13. Click here & watch more Messi’s goals that make him proud of having this tittle!!! Give us a thumb up if you like it!

    link to youtube.com

  14. bryan says:

    Alves is a punk