Skip to main content

Magic Messi moves in on record

November 20, 2012 -- Updated 2259 GMT (0659 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Leo Messi moves to 80 goals for 2012 after Barca's 3-0 win at Spartak Moscow
  • Messi needs just six more goals to surpass Gerd Muller's record of 85 set back in 1972
  • Chelsea face early exit from Champions League after Juventus defeat
  • Bayern Munich and Valencia both through to knockout phase after 1-1 draw

(CNN) -- Lionel Messi continued his incredible year by moving ever closer to Gerd Muller's record goal total by firing Barcelona into the next round of the Champions League.

The Argentina star scored twice to take his 2012 tally to 80 as Barca recorded a 3-0 win at Spartak Moscow.

Muller scored 85 goals in 60 matches for Bayern Munich and Germany back in 1972 but his record is under increasing threat.

Barca has six matches left before the turn of the year with Messi requiring six goals to surpass Muller and break yet another record.

"My aim was just to get the ball, create chances and that we win the game, that is what is important," Messi told reporters.

"We knew we couldn't afford to make mistakes after what happened against Celtic and that we had to go out strongly even though it is difficult to play away in this competition."

Messi passes Pele's goal milestone

Lionel Messi, center, celebrates with Barcelona teammates Cesc Fabregas, left, and Xavi Hernandez after matching Pele's 75 goals in a calendar year. Lionel Messi, center, celebrates with Barcelona teammates Cesc Fabregas, left, and Xavi Hernandez after matching Pele's 75 goals in a calendar year.
Messi magic
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
>
>>
Messi moves past Pele milestone Messi moves past Pele milestone
Daniel Craig and Cristiano Ronaldo have both been outspoken in their desire to reclaim a right to privacy. Both men have become frustrated with their treatment in public. Daniel Craig and Cristiano Ronaldo have both been outspoken in their desire to reclaim a right to privacy. Both men have become frustrated with their treatment in public.
007 and CR7
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
>
>>
The Real Ronaldo The Real Ronaldo
Like Alex Ferguson, sculptor Philip Jackson was born in Scotland. Here he is pictured working on The Bomber Command Memorial Sculpture, which is situated in London's Green Park, and was unveiled by the Queen in June. Like Alex Ferguson, sculptor Philip Jackson was born in Scotland. Here he is pictured working on The Bomber Command Memorial Sculpture, which is situated in London's Green Park, and was unveiled by the Queen in June.
Fellow Scots
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
>
>>
Sculpting football icons Sculpting football icons

Tito Vilanova's men face Levante on Sunday before further games against Athletic Bilbao, Benfica, Real Betis, Atletico Madrid and Real Valladolid.

After eclipsing the achievement of Brazil legend Pele, who scored 75 goals from 53 matches in 1958, Messi moved up a gear in the Russian capital.

With Barcelona already leading through Dani Alves' 16th minute effort, the diminutive striker fired home following a mix-up in the Sparktak defense.

On the synthetic playing surface, Barcelona's tiki-taka football proved too much for the home side to cope with.

And with just six minutes of the first period remaining, Messi grabbed his second of the evening with a neat finish after eluding the Spartak defense.

"Everyone talks about Leo, the goals and the records but it is more his awareness and tactics," Vilanova told reporters.

"The way he defends and attacks and helps the team in all areas.

"The team showed how great they are as this was a difficult game in the cold on an artificial pitch although some of them have played on it before, and they played an excellent match.

"It was important for us not to have to qualify in the final game which will not be easy against Benfica."

Messi leads Ballon d'Or nominations

Led by Xavi, who made his 125th Champions League appearance, the Catalan giant could have had several more goals had it not been for wastefulness in front of goal.

Pedro Rodriguez and Cesc Fabregas both had chances to extend Barca's lead as Spartak fell away.

Meanwhile, Benfica kept alive its hopes of qualifying for the next stage with a 2-1 win over Celtic in Group G's other game.

The Portuguese side took an early lead through Ola John only for Georgios Samaras to pull Celtic level.

But Ezequiel Garay's fiercely struck volley secured victory for Benfica, who face a trip to the Camp Nou to play Barcelona in its final group game.

Should Benfica suffer defeat , Celtic can secure a place in the last 16 with victory over Spartak Moscow.

Barca's unbeaten run ended by Celtic

Chelsea could become the first defending champion to be knocked out in the Group Stage after it lost 3-0 to Juventus in Turin.

Barcelona's Lionel Messi (left) and Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo (right) -- widely considered the two best players in the world -- shake hands before the 'El Classico' derby between Spain's two biggest clubs. But is the huge wealth of Barca and Real damaging the rest of Spanish football? Barcelona's Lionel Messi (left) and Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo (right) -- widely considered the two best players in the world -- shake hands before the 'El Classico' derby between Spain's two biggest clubs. But is the huge wealth of Barca and Real damaging the rest of Spanish football?
Spanish duopoly
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
>
>>
Spanish football hit by sponsorship cutbacks Spanish football hit by sponsorship cutbacks
David Beckham made an immediate impact at Paris Saint-Germain, with victories in his first two appearances against French rivals Marseille. David Beckham made an immediate impact at Paris Saint-Germain, with victories in his first two appearances against French rivals Marseille.
The career of David Beckham
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
>
>>
The career of David Beckham The career of David Beckham
The "Footbonaut" -- is a robotic cage which footballers can use to improve passing, spatial awareness and control. The machine is being used by German champions Borussia Dortmund. The "Footbonaut" -- is a robotic cage which footballers can use to improve passing, spatial awareness and control. The machine is being used by German champions Borussia Dortmund.
The final frontier?
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
>
>>
Dortmund\'s training pays dividends Dortmund's training pays dividends

The defeat is Chelsea's heaviest in the competition since they were beaten 5-1 by Barcelona 12 years ago.

The Blues will go into the final round of Group E matches in third place after goals from Fabio Quagliarella, Arturo Vidal and Sebastian Giovinco sealed the win for Juventus.

"We showed much better spirit than the last games," Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech told ITV.

"The first half it was very difficult, we did well and created chances, but if you create a chance you need to take it.

"That was the difference. They went ahead with a lucky deflection, the second goal was another deflection but they did very well and deserved to win. We didn't cope very well.

"We said before the game that we have our destiny in our hands, not any more. Now we need to do our bit , we need to win our last game and hope our fate is kind.

"Being realistic, Juventus played very well and they need a point and Shakhtar are already through. It is a very sad moment."

Chelsea must hope that the Italians slip up and it records victory over Nordsjaelland to sneak through.

Shakhtar Donetsk's 4-2 triumph over Danish side Nordsjaelland means the Ukrainian champion is guaranteed a place in the last-16 of the competition.

Controversy

A Luiz Adriano hat-trick and a Willian double gave Shakhtar all three points and means it tops the group from Juventus.

But it wasn't all plain sailing for Shakhtar after it scored a hugely controversial goal to go to 1-1.

With a drop ball signaled by the referee, Shakhtar kicked the ball back to the Nordsjaelland goalkeeper, only for Adriano to intercept and score.

With the Danes fuming, the visitors were ready to allow a Nordsjaelland player to walk the ball into the net in a gesture of sportsmanship.

But one defender took exception and put in a tackle much to the fury of the home side.

And while Nordsjaelland did grab another goal eventually, it never really recovered as Shakhtar eased home.

In Group F, Thomas Muller secured Bayern Munich's place in the next round following a 1-1 draw with ten-man Valencia.

The Spaniards, who had Antonio Barragan sent off, had looked set to snatch victory when Sofiane Feghouli scored with 17 minutes remaining.

But Muller hit back just five minutes later to claim a point and send both teams through to the next stage following BATE Borisov's defeat by Lille.

The French side claimed a 2-0 win in Belarus courtesy of goals from Dijbril Sidibe and Gianni Bruno.

Pilkington punishes Manchester United

Galatasaray kept its hopes of making it out of Group H alive following a 1-0 win over Manchester United.

Buruk Yilmaz, the only Galatasaray player to score in the competition so far, took his tally to five to move level with Cristiano Ronaldo at the top of the scoring charts.

The Turkish side sits second in the group with United having already qualified after winning its first four games.

"It was difficult conditions and the pitch wasn't great," Manchester United midfielder Darren Fletcher told Sky Sports.

"It was an intimidating atmosphere. "It was difficult to hear but you have to deal with that. The big problem was the pitch.

"I thought first half especially we did enough. I thought the young players did fantastic and they'll only get better playing in an atmosphere like that.

"As soon as they got the goal they slowed the game down. They started to foul and make tactical fouls."

But Romanian side Cluj, which faces United at Old Trafford in its final game, still has a chance of making it through to the knockout phase.

It won 3-1 against Braga with Portuguese striker Rui Pedro scoring a hat-trick to leave it within touching distance of the next round.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
CNN Football Club
Be part of CNN's coverage of European Champions League matches and join the social debate.
Dutch football team head coach Louis van Gaal (L) and Dutch's assistant coach Patrick Kluivert (R) look on before a friendly football match between Belgium and Netherlands in Brussels on August 15, 2012.
Should the Manchester United board have insisted upon a more radical overhaul of the club's football operation when Alex Ferguson stepped down?
April 23, 2014 -- Updated 1326 GMT (2126 HKT)
Sunday Oliseh plays for NIgeria at the 1998 World Cup in France.
When Sunday Oliseh was a young boy, he never dreamed he would one day carry the hopes of 170 million people on football's biggest stage.
April 15, 2014 -- Updated 1523 GMT (2323 HKT)
The 1989 Hillsborough stadium tragedy, which claimed 96 lives, brought the red and the blue halves of Liverpool together.
CNN's Don Riddell says the 1989 Hillsborough tragedy has caused irreparable damage to the families of the 96 victims and the survivors.
April 11, 2014 -- Updated 1244 GMT (2044 HKT)
The Champions league trophy stands on show during the draw for the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions league at the UEFA headquarters in Nyon on March 21, 2014. AFP PHOTO/FABRICE COFFRINI (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)
Two European heavyweights will collide in the Champions League semifinals after Bayern Munich and Real Madrid were drawn together in Switzerland.
March 24, 2014 -- Updated 1248 GMT (2048 HKT)
West Bromwich Albion's French striker Nicolas Anelka looks on during the English Premier League football match between West Bromwich Albion and Newcastle United at The Hawthorns in West Bromwich, central England, on January 1, 2014.
England prides itself on being the home of football, but is the nation dysfunctional in dealing with racist abuse?
March 18, 2014 -- Updated 1339 GMT (2139 HKT)
In a city where football is a religion, Liverpool and England striker Daniel Sturridge is fast becoming a deity.
March 4, 2014 -- Updated 1555 GMT (2355 HKT)
"Everyone is scared about war -- they are very nervous," former Ukraine football star Oleg Luzhny says of the rising tensions with Russia.
February 26, 2014 -- Updated 1807 GMT (0207 HKT)
Bayern Munich's present success rests on one key decision, chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge tells CNN.
February 18, 2014 -- Updated 0922 GMT (1722 HKT)
Neymar
"More than a Club." It is an image Barcelona has carefully cultivated, but could the controversial deal to sign Neymar sour that view?
February 1, 2014 -- Updated 1825 GMT (0225 HKT)
Affectionately known as "the wise man of Hortaleza," Luis Aragones -- who died aged 75 -- left the legacy of helping Spain's ascension to the top.
ADVERTISEMENT