Football

Records galore for Messi, Mertens and Haaland

Making his mark: Erling Braut Haaland’s two strikes for Salzburg makes him the first player to score six times in his first three Champions League games.

Making his mark: Erling Braut Haaland’s two strikes for Salzburg makes him the first player to score six times in his first three Champions League games.   | Photo Credit: LEONHARD FOEGER

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Impressive wins for Liverpool and Chelsea

Liverpool and Chelsea clinched impressive victories on the road in the Champions League on Wednesday as Lionel Messi, Dries Mertens and teenage sensation Erling Braut Haaland claimed impressive goal-scoring landmarks.

Defending champion Liverpool defeated Genk 4-1 which saw Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain score twice while Michy Batshuayi gave Chelsea a 1-0 win at Ajax.

Elsewhere, Messi became the first player to score at least once in 15 successive Champions League seasons as Barcelona beat Slavia Prague 2-1.

Napoli defeated Salzburg 3-2 in a game which saw Mertens go past Diego Maradona’s 115-goal tally for the Italian club while Haaland’s two strikes for the Austrians in the same game made him the first player to score six times in his first three Champions League games.

England international Oxlade-Chamberlain, who missed almost all of last season due to injury, opened the scoring in the second minute at the Luminus Arena and scored Liverpool’s second just before the hour mark.

Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah then set up each other for late goals to wrap up the victory before substitute Stephen Odey pulled one back for Genk.

Chelsea showed that its young side was ready for the European stage after Batshuayi’s late winner fired it to a 1-0 win at Ajax.

Substitute Batshuayi struck in the 86th minute and put Chelsea level on six points with last year’s semifinalist at the top of Group H.

Barcelona stays top of Group F after a 2-1 win at Slavia Prague.

Messi opened the scoring after three minutes, beating Slavia goalkeeper Ondrej Kolar with a low left-foot shot to become the first player to score in 15 consecutive Champions League campaigns.

Barca grabbed a second on 57 minutes when Slavia winger Peter Olayinka deflected a Luis Suarez close-range shot into his own net. Left-back Jan Boril scored for Slavia five minutes after half-time.

The results:

Group E: Red Bull Salzburg 2 (Haaland 41-pen, 72) lost to Napoli 3 (Mertens 17, 65, Insigne 73); Genk 1 (Odey 88) lost to Liverpool 4 (Oxlade-Chamberlain 2, 57, Mane 77, Salah 87).

Group F: Inter Milan 2 (Martinez 22, Candreva 89) bt Borussia Dortmund 0; Slavia Prague 1 (Boril 50) lost to Barcelona 2 (Messi 3, Olayinka 57-og).

Group G: RB Leipzig 2 (Laimer 49, Sabitzer 59) bt Zenit St. Petersburg 1 (Rakitskyy 25); Benfica 2 (Rafa Silva 4, Pizzi 86) bt Lyon 1 (Depay 70).

Group H: Ajax 0 lost to Chelsea 1 (Batshuayi 86); Lille 1 (Ikone 90+5) drew with Valencia 1 (Cheryshev 63).

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Printable version | Dec 15, 2019 6:09:08 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/football/records-galore-for-messi-mertens-and-haaland/article29789639.ece

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