Messi’s historic goal helps Barcelona edge Slavia Prague

PRAGUE (AFP) – Lionel Messi claimed another goal-scoring record as Barcelona edged a spirited Slavia Prague 2-1 early yesterday to stay top of Group F in the Champions League.

Messi opened the scoring after three minutes, beating Slavia goalkeeper Ondrej Kolar with a low left-footed shot to become the first player ever to score at least once in 15 consecutive Champions League seasons.

The Argentinian first robbed midfielder Petr Sevcik outside the Slavia box before an exchange with Arthur put him neatly through the static Slavia defence.

Barca earned a second on 57 minutes when Slavia winger Peter Olayinka deflected a Luis Suarez close-range shot from an impossible angle into his own net as the hosts failed to clear Messi’s free kick.

Olayinka sealed Barca’s sixth straight competitive win but deprived Suarez of a goal that would end his four-year drought in away games in European cup competitions.

Before that, left-back Jan Boril equalised for Slavia five minutes after half-time, capitalising on a superb pass threaded by Lukas Masopust that found him one-on-one with goalkeeper Marc Andre ter Stegen.

Barcelona top Group F with seven points from three games and are three ahead of Inter Milan who beat Borussia Dortmund 2-0. Slavia sit at the bottom with a single point.

Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and Slavia Prague’s Peter Olayinka vie for the ball during the match. PHOTO: AP