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UCL wrap: USMNT’s Pulisic, McKennie shine

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Christian Pulisic can score by blocking clearances and Weston McKennie won’t stop running, as Americans made their impacts felt in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday.

[ MORE: PL Player Power Rankings ]

Of course, Spurs and Liverpool threw away leads and only the latter recovered to get a result on a busy night in Europe.

Inter Milan 2-1 Tottenham Hotspur RECAP

Christian Eriksen scored for Spurs, as the North London side had a 1-0 lead in the 53rd minute. But Inter struck twice in the final few minutes, including Matias Vecino’s winner in the second minute of stoppage. That will leave Spurs licking their wounds after a third-straight loss.

Barcelona 4-0 PSV EindhovenRECAP

Lionel Messi now has more hat tricks than anyone in Champions League history — for now — nabbing his eighth in moving ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus plays Wednesday). And Ousmane Dembele scored a gorgeous dribble and finish in the win.

Liverpool 3-2 Paris Saint-GermainRECAP

The Reds went ahead 2-0 through a Daniel Sturridge header and James Milner penalty, and controlled much of the proceedings. Thomas Meunier’s 40th minute goal seemed destined to mean very little when Mohamed Salah gave away the ball late in the second half.

Kylian Mbappe made it 2-2, but it only set the stage for Roberto Firmino.

Schalke 1-1 Porto

USMNT midfielder Weston McKennie turned provider on the match’s first goal, sliding across for Breel Embolo’s fortunate offspeed finish (see below). But Salif Sane conceded a penalty to the visitors, and Otavio finished his chance for a share of the points.

Monaco 1-2 Atletico Madrid

A goal from diminutive Serge Grandsir gave the hosts an early lead, but Diego Costa and Jose Maria Gimenez scored before halftime to give Diego Simeone’s men all three points.

Red Star Belgrade 0-0 Napoli

The Serbians send a message that no one’s coming to their house and getting an easy night. Napoli managed 20 shots to Red Star’s six, but a 7-save performance from Canada’s Milan Borjan got a point for the hosts at the Stadion Rajko Mitic.

Galatasaray 3-0 Lokomotiv Moscow

Garry Rodrigues and Erden Derdiyok scored on either side of halftime to give the Turkish powers a win at the Turk Telekom Arena.

Club Brugge 0-1 Borussia Dortmund

Christian Pulisic began the game on the bench, entering for the final 20 minutes or so of his 20th birthday to make his 100th BVB appearance.

Happy birthday, kid.

Messi reclaims hat trick record, Dembele scores marvel in Barca rout

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Lionel Messi scored 75 percent of Barcelona’s goals on Tuesday against PSV Eindhoven, but Ousmane Dembele scored the best one in a 4-1 win at the Camp Nou.

[ MORE: PL Power Rankings ]

Messi’s eighth UEFA Champions League hat trick moved him ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo for the most in the history of the competition.

He’s now scored UCL hat tricks against Arsenal (2010), Viktoria Plzen (2011), Bayer Leverkusen (2012), Ajax (2013), APOEL Nicosia (2014), Celtic (2016), and Manchester City (2016).

He also became just the second player to score in 14-straight UCL campaigns (Raul).

But Dembele’s darting dribble and fantastic curling effort is the one that will have eyebrows raised around the world (nothing against Messi’s marvelous goals, which were not low quality at all).

Samuel Umtiti collected his second yellow in the second half and was sent off prior to Messi’s third goal.

VIDEO: Lionel Messi scores stunning goal

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Lionel Messi has started the UEFA Champions League campaign as he means to go.

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By scoring a sublime free kick to put Barcelona ahead against PSV Eindhoven.

In their Group B opener at the Nou Camp, Ousmane Dembele was fouled and Messi stepped up to curl home a perfect free kick into the top corner.

Take a look at the video below to watch the first goal of the 2018-19 UCL group stage being scored.


Barcelona trailed tiny Huesca after 3 minutes, then won 8-2

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For 15 minutes on Sunday, Barcelona were faced the prospect of suffering the biggest upset in La Liga history, trailing 1-0 to newly-promoted minnow Huesca.

[ MORE: Real Madrid win big; Atletico Madrid lose to Celta Vigo ]

The next 75 minutes saw the Blaugrana score eight times en route to an 8-2 victory at the Camp Nou. Five different Barca players scored — Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez each netted twice — plus an own goal.

Messi made it 1-1 in the 16th minute — weaving his way past, around and through four defenders before firing a pinpoint strike past the goalkeeper — followed by the own goal (Jorge Pulido) in the 24th. Suarez got the final goal, which proved to be the winner, six minutes before halftime. Alex Gallar scored three minutes later to make it a one-goal game once again.

[ MORE: Lukaku says Mourinho “totally different behind the scenes” ]

Ousmane Dembele and Ivan Rakitic made it 4-2 and 5-2 inside the first seven minutes of the second half, at which point the floodgates were wide open. Messi poured in Barca’s sixth in the 61st minute, and Jordi Alba made it seven in the 81st. Suarez got his brace, from the penalty spot, in stoppage time.

The victory keeps Barca perfect on the league season — three wins in three games — and boosts Ernesto Valverde’s side’s goal differential to a league-leading +10 in the process, two better than second-place Real Madrid, who also have nine points from their first three games.

Elsewhere in La Liga

Levante 2-2 Valencia
Alaves 2-1 Espanyol
Real Betis 1-0 Sevilla

Palestinians slam FIFA for chief’s ban over Messi incitement

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RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) The Palestinian soccer federation is lashing out at FIFA for banning its chief from games for a year for inciting against superstar Lionel Messi as part of his campaign to stop Argentina’s national team from playing in Israel.

The Palestine Football Association says Saturday the decision by international soccer’s ruling body was “absurd and lacking in evidence.” FIFA says Jibril Rajoub “incited hatred and violence” by calling on soccer fans “to target the Argentinian Football Association and burn jerseys and pictures of Lionel Messi.”

Argentina eventually abandoned the trip to Jerusalem for a game against Israel in June. Argentina Foreign Minister Jorge Faurie said at the time players felt “totally attacked, violated” after images emerged of the team’s white and sky-blue striped jerseys stained with red paint resembling blood.