Ousmane Dembele struck early and Lionel Messi converted a late penalty as Barcelona won 2-0 at Juventus in the Champions League on Wednesday after Alvaro Morata had three goals disallowed for offside for the Serie A side.
Manchester United, too, made it two out of two as substitute Marcus Rashford scored a hat trick to thrash Leipzig 5-0 at home, while Chelsea brushed aside Krasnodar 4-0 in Russia. A wave of second-half goals also earned wins for Paris Saint-Germain — after losing Neymar early to injury — Borussia Dortmund and Sevilla.
WINNING IS THE BEST ANSWER FOR MESSI AND CO
Dembele struck with a deflected shot in the 14th minute and Messi capped a fluid display by firing home the 14th penalty of his Champions League career to seal Barca's first-ever win over Juventus in Turin and leave them top of Group G with six points from two games.
However, the club was rocked when club president Josep Maria Bartomeu resigned on Tuesday to avoid facing a vote of no confidence. But midfielder Sergi Roberto said that the win away to Juventus was the perfect reply to the club's boardroom crisis. "The best answer was today's game. We want to win titles and matches as we showed today," he said. "It's all in the past, we're concentrating on our job."
Coach Ronald Koeman agreed that his team had tried to put the boardroom issue out of their minds. "I think we have to concentrate on the sporting side," he said. "It doesn't affect us and it doesn't worry me. We put our energy into football."
ANOTHER USEFUL LESSON FOR PIRLO
Juventus, still missing Cristiano Ronaldo after he tested positive for COVID-19 two weeks ago and still rebuilding under Andrea Pirlo, failed to record a shot on target despite Morata's efforts. "This defeat will help us to grow," said Pirlo.
RASHFORD NETS RAPID
Having won at PSG in their opening game, United are now in a commanding position in Group H and are beginning to look like a squad with real strength in depth. Rashford came off the bench with 27 minutes left and led United to an impressive victory. He is only the second United player to score a hat-trick as a substitute after his manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer did so against Nottingham Forest in 1999.
Ex-United defender Rio Ferdinand said on BT Sport: "Wow. Marcus Rashford is on fire. It's like being in the playground with a sixth former against the younger boys and he just bullies everyone – too quick and too strong."
MBAPPE ASSISTS, KEAN SCORES
In the same group, PSG overcame a sluggish start to beat Turkish side Istanbul Basaksehir 2-0 away as Moise Kean scored twice and Kylian Mbappe grabbed two assists, securing their first win in this season's group stage. Thomas Tuchel's side suffered an injury blow, however, as Brazil forward Neymar was forced off in the 26th minute due to a thigh problem. "Towards the end of the first half we suffered. But we played a good game and held out until the end," Kean said.
CHELSEA MAKES IT LOOK EASY
Chelsea kickstarted their campaign by coasting to a 4-0 win at Krasnodar on Wednesday thanks to goals from Callum Hudson-Odoi, Timo Werner, Hakim Ziyech and a late strike from Christian Pulisic.
"We're very happy, four goals scored and none conceded. We had to take a bit of pressure early in the second but I liked lots of things about the way we played," said Lampard.