Barcelona, Clubs, PSV Eindhoven, Story, UEFA Champions League



Lionel Messi scored an excellent individual goal and laid on another as Barcelona beat PSV Eindhoven 2-1 to secure top spot in Champions League Group B on Wednesday.

Messi provided an assist for defender Gerard Pique to score the second for the Liga champions, who have 13 points from their five matches and an unassailable lead.

PSV, meanwhile, will finish bottom, captain Luuk de Jong scoring a late consolation as they matched Barcelona for much of the contest at the Philips Stadion, striking the woodwork three times in the first half and missing a number of other chances.

In a bright start, PSV forward Gaston Pereiro latched onto a poor pass from Ivan Rakitic but his low drive came back off the post, and minutes later he shot over the crossbar from close range.

PSV had some good fortune, too, as Barca had two efforts cleared off the line within the space of a minute, Arturo Vidal the unlucky player on both occasions.

His hooked effort from 12 yards was cleared by Pablo Rosario before Angelino blocked a goalbound header from the resulting corner.

It was Barcelona thanking their lucky stars just before halftime when De Jong’s header from a free kick came off the bar and the follow-up by Denzel Dumfries struck the post.

The visitors took the lead just past the hour mark thanks to a typical piece of Messi magic as he picked up the ball on the edge of the box and, with four defenders around him, managed to drive forward and provide a thunderous finish.

It was 2-0 with 20 minutes remaining when the Argentine’s free kick was guided into the PSV net by the unmarked Pique.

De Jong set up a frenetic finish with his headed goal but Barcelona held on under heavy home pressure.



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