Paris - Barcelona overcame
the absence of an injured Lionel Messi to defeat Inter Milan
2-0 in the Champions League on Wednesday, while Borussia Dortmund signalled
their intent with a 4-0 demolition of Atletico Madrid.
Mohamed Salah scored
twice as Liverpool strolled past Red Star Belgrade, but Paris Saint-Germain
needed a superb stoppage-time equaliser from Angel Di Maria to rescue a point
at home to Napoli.
Barca collected a
third win from three Group B outings as Rafinha, filling in for Messi after the
Argentine star fractured his arm at the weekend, volleyed in the opener on 32
minutes at Camp Nou.
rattled the crossbar in the second half before Jordi Alba sealed the points
seven minutes from time to leave Barca on the brink of a spot in the last 16.
"We needed to
step up given the absence of Leo," Ernesto Valverde said. "It was in
the head of us all."
"We have a
certain style, then Messi gives us a touch of brilliance that is extraordinary.
When he is not there we have to supply it in some other way," he added.
Dortmund, who were missing in-form striker Paco Alcacer, delivered the
performance of the evening as they handed last season's Europa League winners
Atletico their heaviest defeat under Diego Simeone.
Axel Witsel fired
Dortmund ahead shortly before half-time at Signal Iduna Park, with substitute
Raphael Guerreiro netting twice in the final quarter-hour either side of a goal
by teenage England international Jadon Sancho.
Dortmund top Group A
with a maximum nine points, although Atletico still remain favourites to
progress alongside them after Thierry Henry's Monaco and Club Brugge drew 1-1
in the other game.
'A draw is not a
Moussa Sylla raised
hopes of Monaco ending an 11-match winless streak by opening the scoring just
after the half-hour mark in Belgium, but Wesley struck for Brugge to secure a
"We are a little
less negative than at Strasbourg," said Henry, after a defeat by
Strasbourg in his coaching bow on Saturday. "But a draw is a draw, it's
not a victory."
Liverpool's front three of Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane were all on
target as Jurgen Klopp's team swept Serbian champions Red Star aside 4-0.
Firmino broke the
deadlock on 20 minutes and Salah struck right before the interval.
The Egyptian then
converted a penalty just after the break to become the fastest Liverpool player
to 50 goals, achieving the feat in just 65 games.
He missed out on the
chance for a hat-trick as he was substituted before Mane missed a second
spot-kick, although the Senegalese forward redeemed himself when he stabbed
home a Daniel Sturridge cross.
Spurs in deep
Liverpool top Group C
by two points from Napoli, who looked on course for an impressive win in France
before Di Maria's late heroics in a 2-2 draw at the Parc des Princes.
visitors twice led through efforts from Lorenzo Insigne and Dries Mertens but
having levelled once through an own goal by Mario Rui, PSG salvaged a point
with Di Maria's marvellous curling 20-yard strike.
"We can improve,
it's not possible to make errors because the opposition are very strong,"
said PSG boss Thomas Tuchel.
"I knew before it
would be really complicated, and in my opinion, we are not the favourites. This group
is really difficult, and we can't be surprised."
phase hopes look bleak after conceding a costly late equaliser in a 2-2 draw at PSV Eindhoven.
Hirving Lozano pounced on an error from Toby Alderweireld to put PSV in front
on 30 minutes, but Lucas replied for Mauricio Pochettino's side.
Harry Kane nodded in
from a Christian Eriksen cross to give Spurs the lead early in the second half,
but Hugo Lloris was dismissed for a rash challenge on Lozano after an
ill-advised sortie out of his area.
PSV skipper Luuk de
Jong hooked a mishit shot past Lloris' replacement Michel Vorm on 87 minutes to
leave Spurs five points adrift of second-place Inter in Group B.
"In the end (it
was) a draw and (it leaves us) with the minimum possibility to go to the next
stage of the Champions League," Pochettino told BT Sport.
Iker Casillas saved a
penalty for Porto in a 3-1 win away to 10-man Lokomotiv Moscow as the
Portuguese two-time champions seized the initiative in Group D.
Schalke are two points
behind Porto following a 0-0 draw away to Galatasaray.