Champions League - Group F
Barcelona3Ajax1

Barcelona 3-1 Ajax

Barcelona's Lionel Messi scored his ninth goal of the season

Barcelona warmed up for Saturday's El Clasico against Real Madrid with a comfortable Champions League win against Dutch title holders Ajax.

In-form Neymar scored his seventh goal in his last five Barca appearances to put the Spanish leaders ahead, before Lionel Messi converted Andres Iniesta's accurate pass to double the tally.

With this weekend's trip to the Bernabeu in mind, Luis Enrique withdrew Neymar, Messi and Andres Iniesta in the second half as Barca began to relax.

That allowed Ajax to nick a late consolation through teenage forward Anwar El Ghazi, before Barca's own young substitute Sandro Ramirez, who replaced Neymar, killed off any hope of a dramatic Dutch comeback.

Messi's strike put him within two of Spanish striker Raul, who is the Champions League's all-time leading scorer with 71 goals.

But the Argentina captain missed several other chances to move even closer to the Real Madrid legend as Barcelona dominated a poor Ajax side.

The Dutch champions offered little threat against the Catalans who are top of the Spanish league after eight matches under new boss Enrique.

Messi and Neymar posed danger throughout as Ajax, who had taken two points from their opening two Group F matches, were pinned back in their own half.

It was an unhappy return for Ajax coach Frank de Boer, who played alongside Enrique at the Nou Camp between 1999 and 2003.

His side are now four points adrift of second-placed Barcelona, who bounced back from their 3-2 defeat at Paris St-Germain.

The French champions lead the group at the halfway stage after netting a late 1-0 win at Cypriot side Apoel Nicosia.

Line-ups

Barcelona

  • 1ter Stegen
  • 22Dani Alves
  • 3Piqué
  • 15Bartra
  • 18Alba
  • 4Rakitic
  • 14Mascherano
  • 8IniestaSubstituted forRafinhaat 76'minutes
  • 7PedroBooked at 80mins
  • 10MessiSubstituted forEl Haddadiat 66'minutes
  • 11NeymarSubstituted forRamírezat 62'minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Montoya
  • 6Xavi
  • 12Rafinha
  • 13Bravo
  • 26Samper
  • 29Ramírez
  • 31El Haddadi

Ajax

  • 22Cillessen
  • 2van RhijnBooked at 69mins
  • 3VeltmanBooked at 32mins
  • 4Moisander
  • 26Viergever
  • 16Andersen
  • 32ZimlingSubstituted forRiedewaldat 56'minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 10Klaassen
  • 20Schöne
  • 9SigthorssonSubstituted forEl Ghaziat 73'minutes
  • 11KishnaSubstituted forMilikat 45'minutes

Substitutes

  • 8Duarte
  • 12Riedewald
  • 19Milik
  • 21El Ghazi
  • 24Denswil
  • 33Boer
  • 34Menig
Referee:
William Collum
Attendance:
79,357

Match Stats

Home TeamBarcelonaAway TeamAjax
Possession
Home62%
Away38%
Shots
Home16
Away9
Shots on Target
Home6
Away1
Corners
Home3
Away3
Fouls
Home11
Away17

Live Text

Match ends, Barcelona 3, Ajax 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Barcelona 3, Ajax 1.

Goal!

Goal! Barcelona 3, Ajax 1. Sandro Ramírez (Barcelona) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Rafinha.

Attempt missed. Dani Alves (Barcelona) right footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high from a direct free kick.

Ivan Rakitic (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Niklas Moisander (Ajax).

Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Nick Viergever.

Booking

Jaïro Riedewald (Ajax) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Ivan Rakitic (Barcelona) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Jaïro Riedewald (Ajax).

Attempt blocked. Anwar El Ghazi (Ajax) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked.

Goal!

Goal! Barcelona 2, Ajax 1. Anwar El Ghazi (Ajax) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner.

Attempt blocked. Arkadiusz Milik (Ajax) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Jaïro Riedewald.

Foul by Dani Alves (Barcelona).

Lasse Schöne (Ajax) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Attempt missed. Dani Alves (Barcelona) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left from a direct free kick.

Dani Alves (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Lasse Schöne (Ajax).

Attempt missed. Rafinha (Barcelona) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Lucas Andersen.

Attempt blocked. Munir El Haddadi (Barcelona) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Marc-André ter Stegen.

Booking

Pedro (Barcelona) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Pedro (Barcelona).

Lucas Andersen (Ajax) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Jordi Alba (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Jaïro Riedewald (Ajax).

Sandro Ramírez (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Ricardo van Rhijn (Ajax).

Substitution

Substitution, Barcelona. Rafinha replaces Andrés Iniesta.

Attempt missed. Davy Klaassen (Ajax) right footed shot from the centre of the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Anwar El Ghazi with a cross.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Substitution

Substitution, Ajax. Anwar El Ghazi replaces Kolbeinn Sigthorsson.

Delay in match Gerard Piqué (Barcelona) because of an injury.

Attempt saved. Ivan Rakitic (Barcelona) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Andrés Iniesta.

Booking

Ricardo van Rhijn (Ajax) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Munir El Haddadi (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Ricardo van Rhijn (Ajax).

Attempt blocked. Lasse Schöne (Ajax) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Foul by Gerard Piqué (Barcelona).

Arkadiusz Milik (Ajax) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

goal

As It Stood

A

TeamPWDLGDPts
1Juventus210113
2Atl Madrid210103
3Malmö FF210103
4Olympiakos2101-13

B

TeamPWDLGDPts
1Real Madrid220056
2Basel2101-33
3Liverpool210103
4Ludo Razgd2002-20

C

TeamPWDLGDPts
1Zenit St P211024
2Monaco211014
3Bayer Levkn210113
4Benfica2002-40

D

TeamPWDLGDPts
1Bor Dortmd220056
2Arsenal210113
3Anderlecht2011-31
4Galatasaray2011-31

E

TeamPWDLGDPts
1Bayern Mun330089
2Roma3111-24
3Man City3021-12
4CSKA3012-51

F

TeamPWDLGDPts
1Paris St G321027
2Barcelona320126
3Ajax3021-22
4Apoel Nic3012-21

G

TeamPWDLGDPts
1Chelsea321077
2Schalke312015
3NK Maribor3021-62
4Sporting3012-21

H

TeamPWDLGDPts
1FC Porto321077
2Shakt Donsk312075
3BATE Bor3102-123
4Ath Bilbao3012-21
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