LONDON: Lionel Messi equalled Raul’s record of 71 goals in Barcelona’s 2-0 win away to Ajax in their Champions League Group F game.
Holland goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen’s howler gifted the opener to the Argentina star, who poked home his second in the 76th minute to move level with the record and one ahead of Raul’s successor in the Real Madrid number seven shirt, Cristiano Ronaldo.
The win confirmed Barca’s qualification for the last 16 along with Paris Saint-Germain, who beat APOEL 1-0 in France, with two games to spare.
The only goal in Paris came after just 58 seconds when Edinson Cavani turned in Gregory van der Wiel’s cross.
Fernandinho and Yaya Toure were sent off as Manchester City crashed to a 2-1 defeat to CSKA Moscow in Group E.
Seydou Doumbia was again City’s nemesis, following up his influential role in last month’s 2-2 draw in Moscow with both CSKA goals.
His Ivory Coast team-mate Toure had cancelled out his first with a superb free-kick but City again lacked spark in Europe’s elite competition and the result left them with just two points from four games and bottom of the group.
Bayern Munich secured top spot in the group with two games to spare after maintaining their 100pc record with a 2-0 victory over Roma.
Franck Ribery opened the scoring seven minutes before half-time while Mario Gotze’s second-half strike lifted Pep Guardiola’s men eight points clear and into the knockout stages.
Chelsea must wait to secure qualification from Group G after Eden Hazard missed a late penalty in a 1-1 draw against Maribor.
The Slovenes were unrecognisable from the side beaten 6-0 by Chelsea two weeks ago and went in front when Agim Ibraimi curled a shot into the top corner five minutes into the second half.
Luka Zahovic missed a chance to double the lead before Nemanja Matic’s close-range effort 17 minutes from time saved the Blues’ blushes.
Chelsea remain three points in front of Schalke, who were beaten 4-2 at Sporting Lisbon.
Islam Slimani’s own goal gave the German visitors an early lead but goals from Mouhamadou-Naby Sarr, Jefferson and Nani turned the match around. Denis Aogo got one back for Schalke but Slimani atoned for his earlier error by slotting in a late goal to complete the win.
BATE Borisov were thrashed for the second time in a fornight by Shakhtar Donetsk, who followed up their 7-0 romp in Belarus with a 5-0 victory on Wednesday night to move to within a point of qualification for the knockout stages.
Brazilian striker Luiz Adriano, who scored five goals in the first game, racked up his second hat-trick against a BATE defence who have now conceded 19 goals in their four games in Group H.
Shakhtar remain two points behind Porto, who sealed their place in the next stage with a 2-0 win strugglers Athletic Bilbao.
Colombian striker Jackson Martinez missed a penalty for the visitors before putting them in front 10 minutes into the second half and Yacine Brahimi added a second on 73 minutes.
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