Messi leads Barça past Slavia Prague 2-1 in Champions League

Friday, 25 October 2019 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Barcelona’s Lionel Messi in action with SK Slavia Prague’s Tomas Soucek - Champions’ League Group F - SK Slavia Prague v FC Barcelona - Eden Arena, Prague, Czech Republic, 23 October 2019 REUTERS 

Prague (Reuters): A quick-fire strike from Lionel Messi and a second half own goal gave Barcelona a 2-1 win over Slavia Prague in a thrilling Champions’ League Group F encounter on Wednesday where both sides spurned multiple chances.

Barcelona swarmed forward from the kick off, keeping Slavia bottled up in their own end and denying them possession.

They took the lead in the third minute when Messi forced a turnover before feeding the ball to Arthur who returned it for the Argentine to slip past the goalkeeper.

The goal made Messi the first player in Champions League history to score at least once in 15 consecutive seasons in the competition.

Slavia regrouped quickly and began pressing forward in numbers during a lively first half in which they out-shot Barcelona.

The hosts had three gilt-edge chances but were denied by Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen whose saves included a sprawling effort where he dove one way but used his foot to clear a Jaroslav Zeleny shot to safety.

“Ter Stegen has been our key player across all three Champions League matches so far,” Barça manager Ernesto Valverde said.

The win puts Barcelona top of Group F with seven points from three games while Slavia are bottom with one point. Elsewhere, Inter Milan beat Borussia Dortmund 2-0 and both teams are on four points in the group.