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Champions League Round Three Review

It was a round of mixed fortunes in the Champions League for the Premier League sides. Read our review of the action from the biggest competition in club football.

Barcelona hammer Manchester City as Messi breaks another Champions League record

So ironic that the Barcelona versus Manchester City Champions League tie should turn on a red card for goalkeeper Claudio Bravo. The former home keeper, signed by City to replace Joe Hart, supposedly because he is better with his feet, tried to overplay.

But gave the ball away to Luis Suarez and then well out of his box blocked the goal-bound follow-up with his hands. Deservedly sent off and City down to 10 men.

What a ridiculous decision by Pep Guardiola to axe Hart, now back to his best for Torino and England. From there City just fell apart, making a succession of schoolboy errors.

Messi – not even anywhere near his best – added to his first half opener with a regulation left footer and then sauntered through for his hat-trick. A complete embarrassment for the away side.

Substitute goalkeeper Willy Caballero saved a Neymar penalty but Neymar then tricked his way through for a fourth, set up by who else but Messi. It could have been different as, to make it a mad night, Barcelona substitute Jeremy Mathieu was invited to take an early bath for two stupid yellow cards, equalising numbers back up.

But too late for City to get anything from the game. Disappointing as they had been well in it at the break.

A cagey start from both sides … but then Messi fired into action. Walked the ball into the net with ease after a cut back, Fernandhino slip, and City defenders standing like statues. A piece of Messi magic.

But, orchestrated by Kevin de Bruyne, City gradually came into the game with Barcelona full back Jordi Alba, an injury doubt coming in, hobbling off. And then with City putting in some rugged tackles a bad David Silva foul forced Gerard Pique to retire from the battle.

The resulting makeshift Barcelona defensive line-up looked vulnerable and City started making good chances.

Ter Stagen was forced to make a great save and then John Stones headed a glorious chance wide. A case of what might have been.

Arsenal continue relentless form – hitting Ludogorets for six at The Emirates

Arsenal found it easy at the Emirates against Bulgarian side Ludogorets.

Alexis Sánchez cracked in the first in the 12th minute with a right footed chip into the bottom right corner and Theo Walcott smashed the second with a great hit from outside the box.

When Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain netted immediately after the re-start it was all over. Mesut Ozil celebrated with three more to make it an emphatic 6-0 scoreline.  A good night for the Gunners but against indifferent opposition.

Tottenham Hotspur saved by Lloris in Germany

Tottenham were grateful for a point in Germany as goalkeeper Hugo Lloris saved the side with a string of fine second half stops.

It looked all so comfortable in the first period as Spurs bossed the game without hitting the back of the net.

The visitors had an early effort chalked off for offside before Dele Alli headed wide from a Kieran Trippier cross.

The Bayer Leverkusen goal then had an amazing escape as Vincent Janssen was thwarted by the bar with the goalkeeper well beaten, and Erik Lamela saw the rebound tipped to safety.

Leverkusen had the odd sporadic attack with former Manchester United forward Javier Hernandez to the fore, but nothing to trouble Lloris. However it was completely different after half-time as Tottenham had to resort to some desperate defence.

Intelligent German international Lars Bender escaped, cut the ball across and it seemed a tap in for Hernandez, but somehow Lloris managed to keep it out.

Replays showed three quarters of the ball over the line – not good enough.

Bayer Leverkusen were now winning most of the tackles – Tottenham simply could not keep the ball. Three more fine Lloris saves, some last ditch blocks and Spurs were glad to hear the fulltime whistle.

Manager Mauricio Pochettino had targeted this one for three points, but Bayer Leverkusen showed they too are a class side. Qualification remains wide open.

Leicester stay perfect in the Champions League

Meanwhile Leicester have three wins and nine points from their group after beating FC Copenhagen 1-0 with a goal from Riyad Mahrez.

An incredible save by Copenhagen-born Kasper Schmeichel in the 90th minute throwing out an arm to deflect the ball away.

Copenhagen had plenty of the ball at the King Power Stadium but Leicester kept a hard-fought clean sheet.

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