Messi leads Barca to 3-1 win over Dortmund in 700th match

AP , Thursday 28 Nov 2019

Barcelona's Lionel Messi drives the ball past Dortmund's Lukasz Piszczek, right, during a Champions League group F soccer match between Barcelona and Dortmund at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2019 AP

Lionel Messi scored one goal and set up two more in his 700th game for Barcelona to ensure the Spanish club reached the Champions League's knockout rounds with a 3-1 win over Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday.

Messi fed Luis Suarez to open the scoring at Camp Nou in the 29th minute before his strike partner returned the assist for the Argentina star to add a goal of his own moments later.

Messi then led a counterattack and played substitute Antoine Griezmann through on goal to put the result beyond doubt in the 67th.

Dortmund's halftime substitute Jadon Sancho pulled one back in the 77th and almost got a second goal when Marc-Andre ter Stegen pushed his shot onto his post.

In addition to his goals and assist, Messi repeatedly wowed the home crowd by regularly dribbling past Dortmund's helpless defenders. He also went close to another goal when he curled a free kick off the crossbar.

Messi took his club-record tally to 613 goals as he closed in on Xavi Hernandez's all-time appearance milestone of 767 matches for the Spanish club. The Argentine has 114 goals in Europe's top-tier tournament.

Barcelona has 11 points in Group F and secured top spot with one game remaining. Dortmund has seven, but is behind Inter Milan on goal difference after the Italian team won 3-1 at Slavia Prague. Prague has two points.

Only the top two teams advance. The third-place finisher goes to the Europa League.

Ernesto Valverde's team extended its competition record to 35 consecutive home matches without a defeat going back to 2013.

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