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Youngsters impress in thumping Barca win, Dortmund flop against Lazio

Barcelona were 5-1 winners but it was a much more chastening night for Dortmund.

Ansu Fati.
Ansu Fati.
Image: AP/PA Images

BARCELONA EXORCISED SOME of their Champions League demons by thrashing Hungarian minnows Ferencvaros 5-1 on Tuesday, in their first European game since last season’s humiliation by Bayern Munich. 

Lionel Messi won and then scored a penalty before the 17-year-old Ansu Fati contributed to two brilliant goals, volleying in one for himself and then setting up another for Philippe Coutinho. 

Barca’s defensive frailties were never far away at Camp Nou and Gerard Pique was sent off before the hour for preventing Tokmac Nguen from finishing in the penalty area. 

Ihor Kharatin converted the spot-kick but late goals from Pedri and Ousamane Dembele ended any hopes of a comeback and gave Barcelona some much-needed momentum ahead of Saturday’s Clasico in La Liga against Real Madrid. 

A big win also puts Barcelona top of Group G but Pique’s red card means he will miss next week’s game away at Juventus, who had earlier beaten Dinamo Kiev. 

That game in Turin will be a greater test of Barca’s capabilities under new coach Ronald Koeman but at least his players were smiling again, 67 days on from their 8-2 embarrassment in Lisbon. 

Fati was the star, his goal making him the first player under the age of 18 to have scored twice in the Champions League. 

But it was a good night for Barcelona’s youngsters overall, as Francisco Trincao, preferred to Antoine Griezmann down the right, impressed, before another 17-year-old Pedri came on to score his first goal for the club. 

Ferencvaros, under coach Sergiy Rebrov, came through four qualifying rounds to become the first Hungarian side to make the group stage in 11 years. 

They created several good openings, starting early as Nguen found the top corner only to be ruled offside and Isael rattled the crossbar from eight yards. 

But Barca were threatening as well and when a weaving Messi was finally brought down at the third attempt, he was able finish from the spot and make it 16 seasons in a row scoring in the Champions League.

Fati, set up by the busy Trincao down the right, was denied by an excellent save and Messi hit the crossbar from a one-on-one, although the flag was up. 

Eldar Civic could have equalised for Ferencvaros and they were punished as Fati set back to Frenkie de Jong before scampering in behind and volleying in the Dutchman’s looped pass over the top. 

Fati helped make it three shortly after half-time as Messi found him on the edge of the box. Fati back-peddled to make space and flicked the ball behind his standing leg out to Coutinho, who shot inside the post. 

Pique protested but could have few complaints when he dragged down Nguen, who would surely have scored after racing clear. 

Kharatin converted the penalty and there might have been a nervy finish if Nguen’s shot was not well-blocked by the sliding Clement Lenglet. 

Instead, Pedri, on as a substitute, tucked in his first and Barca’s fourth, with Dembele making it five with one minute left.

Elsewhere in Group G, Alvaro Morata scored twice for Juventus in their 2-0 win away to Dynamo Kiev. 

italy-ss-lazio-borussia-dortmund Immobile celebrates his goal. Source: SIPA USA/PA Images

Elsewhere, Ciro Immobile scored early against his former club as Lazio marked their return to the Champions League after a 13-year absence with a 3-1 Group F win over Borussia Dortmund.

Italy’s Immobile beat Marwin Hitz in the Dortmund goal after six minutes in Rome, with a deflection off the Germans’ keeper responsible for the hosts’ second goal.

Norway star Erling Braut Haaland pulled a goal back after 71 minutes but Immobile set up Jean-Daniel Akpa-Akpro for the third five minutes later in front of a crowd of 1,000 at the Stadio Olimpico.

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It was a welcome boost for Simon Inzaghi’s side who are now top in a group which also includes Zenit and Club Brugge.

“It was an incredible emotion to bring this club and this shirt back to the Champions League,” said Immobile, last season’s Serie A top scorer with 36 goals.

The capital city club have experienced a stuttering start to their league season with just one win in four games, and a 3-0 defeat to Sampdoria last weekend.

“There was an extra flavour and we are satisfied because the match was played to perfection,” continued Immobile. 

“We met a strong team, it was a difficult match but we needed a game like this to give us a psychological boost, after the game against Sampdoria, to be able to have our say among the great in Europe and also in the league.”

Immobile and Joaquin Correa started up front with Hitz replacing Roman Buerki in the Dortmund goal and Haaland leading Bundesliga outfit’s attack.

Luiz Felipe returned for Lazio after a month out with an ankle problem, with Emre Can suspended for the away side.

Lazio pounced on their first chance with Thomas Meunier losing the ball to Lucas Leiva who crossed for Correa to serve up Immobile for his fifth Champions League goal and first since playing for Dortmund in December 2014.

Thomas Strakosha stuck out his leg to block Raphael Guerreiro in Dortmund’s first chance after 21 minutes.

But Inzaghi’s men doubled their lead after 23 minutes when a Luiz Felipe effort was deflected in off Hitz’s head. 

Haaland revived hopes of a German fightback, only for Luis Alberto to send through for Immobile to lay it on for Akpa Akpro for the third goal.

The other game in the group saw Club Brugge seal a last-minute 2-1 win away to Zenit St Petersburg. 

Champions League Matchday One results 

Chelsea 0-0 Sevilla 

Rennes 1-1 Krasnodar 

Lazio 3-1 Borussia Dortmund 

Zenit 1-2 Club Brugge 

Dynamo Kiev 0-2 Juventus 

Barcelona 5-1 Ferencvaros 

PSG 1-2 Manchester United 

RB Leipzig 2-0 Istanbul Basaksehir

Additional reporting by Gavin Cooney

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