BARCELONA - Lionel Messi moved into second place on the all-time list of Champions League goalscorers with his 27th career hat-trick as Barcelona beat Ajax 4-0 at the Nou Camp yesterday.
The four-time World Player of the Year now has 62 Champions League goals to his name as Barca cruised to victory in the first ever competitive meeting between the two sides.
Messi opened the scoring on 22 minutes with a sensational free-kick and made the game safe 10 minutes after half-time with a typically cool left-footed finish.
Gerard Pique added a third when he headed Neymar's cross past the stranded Kenneth Vermeer before Messi rounded off the scoring 15 minutes from time.
Meanwhile, Theo Walcott and Aaron Ramsey scored as Arsenal opened its 16th straight Champions League campaign by defeating Marseille 2-1 in Group F on Wednesday.
Walcott capitalised on a miscued clearance from Jeremy Morel to volley into the top corner in the 65th minute. Ramsey doubled the lead with a low strike in the 83rd.
Marseille scored a consolation goal with a penalty from Jordan Ayew in stoppage time.
It was Arsenal's sixth straight victory in all competitions.
The Gunners showed their attacking flair in the second half despite missing several players through injury.
Napoli extended its perfect start in Serie A to the Champions League with a 2-1 win Wednesday over 10-man Borussia Dortmund, last season's runner-up.
Prized signing Gonzalo Higuain put Napoli ahead 29 minutes in on a rainy night at San Paolo stadium by heading home a cross from Camilo Zuniga, after which Dortmund coach Juergen Klopp was sent off for protesting.
Higuain was also at the center of the action in the Group F match when goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller was shown a red card for using his hands outside his area to deny the striker in first-half added time.
Lorenzo Insigne doubled Napoli's lead in the 67th with a free kick to the top corner.
Zuniga scored an own goal for Dortmund in the 87th with a poorly intercepted cross.