New Delhi: Argentine superstar Lionel Andres Messi reached another milestone when his curled free-kick hit the net, as he notched up his 100th European goal against Olympiacos in the Champions League on Wednesday.
The 30-year-old not only scored but also assisted Lucas Digne for his goal as a 10 men Barcelona thrashed aside Olympiacos 3-1 to help Barcelona maintain their winning streak this season in Europe as they move closer to qualify for the knock-out rounds.
Messi, in the process became only the second footballer after Madrid talisman Cristiano Ronaldo to reach the three figure milestone. Earlier Ronaldo had achieved the feat last season and leads the chart with 113 goals to his name of which 111 came in the Champions League and two in the UEFA Super Cup, while La Masia graduate Messi has scored 97 goals in the Champions League and three in the UEFA Super Cup in a career which has seen him win four CL crowns and three Super Cups.
The Catalan club took the lead in the 18th minute when defender Olympiakos Dimitris Nikolaou in a bid to keep away a Deulofeu pass parried away the ball into his own net. However, Barcelona had to play the second half with 10 men after star defender Gerard Pique was sent off two minutes before half-time and will miss the next match against the same opponents later this month. Messi then reached the milestone with a wonderful free-kick before setting up Lucas Digne for a third in the 64th minute.
The four time Ballon D’Or winner now has scored 15 times this season and leads the scoring chart with 55 goals in the ongoing year.
Meanwhile, Juventus also kept their hopes alive of qualifying after they beat Sporting Lisbon courtesy a Mario Mandzukic header on the 84th minute. It was an important match for ‘Lady Turin’ after their loss against the Blaugrana.
La Liga winners Real Madrid however failed to maintain their winning run as Tottenham Hotspur put up a brave fight to draw 1-1 at the Bernabeu. Goalkeepers Hugo Lloris and Keylor Navas were the stars as both sides failed to score a goal from field play. Spurs took the lead when Raphael Varane scored an own goal but Ronaldo restored parity minutes later through a penalty, but could not inspire his team to a win at home.