Guardiola no match for Messi - Barcelona beat City 4-0
ROME, Italy (AP):
After all the hype about Pep Guardiola returning to face his former club, Lionel Messi ensure that it was no contest.
Messi scored a hat-trick to deal a humbling defeat to his former mentor yesterday, leading Barcelona to an emphatic 4-0 victory over Manchester City in the Champions League.
Messi sped through City's defence and around former Barcelona goalkeeper Claudio Bravo before giving the hosts the 17th-minute lead in a Group C match that both teams finished with 10 men.
It only got worse for Bravo, who was sent off in the second half for using his hands to block a shot outside the area after his poor pass gifted the ball to Luis Suarez.
Messi struck again in the 61st and 69th to take his total to 89 goals in Europe's top club competition. The Argentina forward is second only to Cristiano Ronaldo's 98.
Barcelona's substitute defender Jeremy Mathieu was sent off in the 73rd minute for a second yellow card.
Neymar rounded off the win from a pass by Messi, moments after the Brazil striker had missed a penalty that Messi had earned.
Barcelona lead Group C with a perfect nine points, City have four and Borussia Moenchengladbach three after their 2-0 win at last-place Celtic, who have one point.
In Group A, Mesut Ozil fired a second-half hat trick as Arsenal took a big step toward the knockout stage with a 6-0 rout of Bulgarian champion Ludogorets.
The north London side, which is now unbeaten since the opening game of the season two months ago, tops the group with seven points.
Alexis Sanchez, Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain had put Arsenal up 3-0 before Ozil took over.
Paris Saint-Germain also have seven points after their 3-0 home win over Basel, who are level on one point with Ludogorets.
Angel Di Maria ended his goal drought at just the right moment and striker Edinson Cavani continued his scoring streak as PSG overcame a poor start at the Parc des Princes.
Having gone 17 games without a goal for club and country, Di Maria pounced five minutes before half-time and Brazilian winger Lucas slotted in his seventh goal of the season in the 62nd before Cavani added a late penalty.
In Group B, Vincent Aboubakar scored twice as Besiktas beat Napoli 3-2 to deny the Italian club a chance of advancing from the group stage in record time. It was the Turkish side's first win in the competition since 2009.
If Napoli had won, they would have become the first team in Champions League history to advance from the group after just three matches.