Champions League - Group F
BarcelonaBarcelona3AjaxAjax1

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

Formation 4-3-3

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

Substitutes

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

Ajax

Formation 4-3-3

  • 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

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Barcelona 3, Ajax 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Barcelona 3, Ajax 1.

  3. 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.

  4. Post update

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

  5. Post update

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

  6. Post update

    Foul by Niklas Moisander (Ajax).

  7. Post update

    Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Nick Viergever.

  8. Booking

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

  9. Post update

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

  10. Post update

    Foul by Jaïro Riedewald (Ajax).

  11. Post update

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

  12. Goal!

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

  13. Post update

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

  14. Post update

    Foul by Dani Alves (Barcelona).

  15. Post update

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

  16. Post update

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

  17. Post update

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

  18. Post update

    Foul by Lasse Schöne (Ajax).

  19. Post update

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

  20. Post update

    Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Lucas Andersen.

As It Stood

A

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Juventus21012113
2Atl Madrid21013303
3Malmö FF21012203
4Olympiakos210134-13

B

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Real Madrid22007256
2FC Basel210125-33
3Liverpool21012203
4Ludogorets200224-20

C

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Zenit St Petersburg21102024
2Monaco21101014
3B Leverkusen21013213
4Benfica200215-40

D

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1B Dortmund22005056
2Arsenal21014313
3Anderlecht201114-31
4Galatasaray201125-31

E

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Bayern Munich33009189
2Roma311179-24
3Man City302134-12
4CSKA Moscow301238-51

F

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1PSG32105327
2Barcelona32016426
3Ajax302135-22
4Apoel Nicosia301213-21

G

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Chelsea32108177
2Schalke31206515
3NK Maribor302128-62
4Sporting301246-21

H

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1FC Porto321010377
2Shakhtar Donetsk31209275
3BATE Borisov3102214-123
4Ath Bilbao301224-21
View full Champions League tables

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