Messi Leads Barcelona, but Liverpool and Chelsea Settle for Ties

Lionel Messi marked his 700th sport for Barcelona with a aim and two assists in a Three-1 win over Borussia Dortmund that despatched his group into the knockout rounds of the Champions League on Wednesday.

But Liverpool, the competitors’s defending champion, couldn’t replicate that feat because it struggled as soon as once more towards Napoli.

The golf equipment have performed 4 instances within the final 13 months, with Napoli successful two of these video games. This time, Dejan Lovren’s header rescued a 1-1 draw for Liverpool, which should strive once more to qualify for the knockout phases towards Salzburg on Dec. 10.

Chelsea additionally should wait for qualification after an odd aim — a cross that discovered the web on the again submit — noticed it draw, 2-2 at dwelling towards Valencia, but Salzburg certified for the knockouts for the primary time because the teenage striker Erling Haaland scored once more.

At Barcelona, a victory towards Dortmund restored some welcome swagger. For the group that leads La Liga regardless of hardly ever seeming to succeed in high gear, Barcelona’s Three-1 win lastly showcased the complete breadth of its expertise and creativity. Messi and Luis Suárez mixed for the primary two targets: First Messi assisted, then the Uruguayan returned the favor. Another Messi help arrange Antoine Griezmann for Barcelona’s third aim.

For Dortmund, it was a 3rd Champions League sport with out a win, and maybe a step nearer to the exit for Manager Lucian Favre. He and his gamers had been already targets for followers’ anger after Friday’s Three-Three draw with Paderborn within the Bundesliga.

Earlier, Lautaro Martínez scored twice as Inter Milan beat Slavia Prague, Three-1. Inter can nonetheless qualify from Group F, but Slavia is out.

At Anfield, Liverpool endured extra frustration towards Napoli. Dries Mertens scored from a protracted move within the 21st minute earlier than Lovren’s header from a nook tied the rating. The tie ended a seven-game successful streak for Liverpool in all competitions, a supply of frustration for a group with a packed schedule forward.

“We couldn’t put it to bed tonight but it’s the Champions League, it’s difficult,” the Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson mentioned. “It’s always difficult, there are some really good teams so we have to stay positive.”

In the opposite Group E sport, Haaland turned the primary teenager to attain in 5 consecutive Champions League video games as Salzburg beat Genk, Four-1. Haaland, a 19-year-old Norwegian, got here off the bench to get one help and rating Salzburg’s fourth aim.

Salzburg can qualify for the knockout rounds if it beats Liverpool within the groups’ closing group-stage sport.

At Chelsea, the Blues might have gone via with a win over Valencia, but drew and now should wait till their closing group sport towards Lille.

Valencia missed a collection of probabilities, together with a penalty, earlier than Daniel Wass scored a freak aim from a cross within the 82nd minute to grab a degree for Valencia.

“We created a lot, both teams; I don’t know how many goals there could have been in that game,” Chelsea Manager Frank Lampard mentioned. “We can’t turn away from the fact that they had a lot of clear chances. They were arriving in our box far too much.”

Ajax beat last-place Lille, 2-Zero, to stay atop Group H and now solely must keep away from defeat towards Valencia on Dec. 10 to proceed a Champions League marketing campaign that started within the qualifying rounds.

In Germany, Leipzig’s followers turned up for a sport towards Benfica anticipating to see their group qualify for the knockout phases for the primary time. They received that in the long run, but solely after an inconceivable comeback.

Benfica confronted elimination if it didn’t win and seized on Leipzig defensive errors to attain two targets. But Leipzig mounted a unprecedented late comeback to seize the purpose it wanted to qualify. Emil Forsberg made it 2-1 with a 90th-minute penalty and then leveled the rating within the sixth minute of added time with a header.

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