Lionel Messi became the first player to score in 16 consecutive Champions League seasons as he guided 10-man Barcelona to a 5-1 victory over Hungarian side Ferencvaros in its Group G opener at the Camp Nou on Tuesday.
Messi netted from the penalty spot in the first half for his 116th career goal in the competition, before the lively Ansu Fati added a second.
Philippe Coutinho grabbed another goal early in the second half but Barca defender Gerard Pique was dismissed for impeding Tokmac Nguen, leading to a penalty for the visitor that was converted by Igor Kharatin.
Any thoughts of a dramatic comeback were quashed though as 17-year-old Pedri netted his first Barca goal after arriving from second-tier Las Palmas at the start of the season, and Ousmane Dembele added the fifth late on.
The Catalan side moves above Juventus on goal difference at the top of the table after the Italian champion won 2-0 away at Dynamo Kyiv earlier on Tuesday. The pair meet in Turin on Oct. 28.
Barca coach Ronald Koeman left stalwart midfielder Sergio Busquets and striker Antoine Griezmann on the bench, perhaps with one eye on Saturday's 'El Clasico' against bitter rival, Real Madrid.
Ferencvaros is in the group stages for the first time in 25 years and had its moments. Pacey striker Nguen produced a mazy run and fine finish, but his effort was correctly ruled offside, while Brazilian midfielder Isael struck the angle of post and crossbar with a fierce drive.
Messi handed his side the lead after he both won and converted a penalty, bringing up another milestone in his career.
Former Manchester United winger Ryan Giggs is the only other player to net in 16 Champions League seasons, though the run was not consecutive.
Fati then beat the offside trap from Frenkie de Jong's lobbed pass and steered the ball into the net on the volley, before Coutinho profited from intricate build-up play by Messi and Fati to score.
Ferencvaros, however, created what looked like being a nervous final 20 minutes as Pique could not handle the pace of Nguen and hauled the striker back in the box, seeing red for his indiscretion as Kharatin easily converted the spot-kick.
But late goals from substitutes Pedri and Dembele against the tiring visitor sealed a satisfactory night for Koeman.
Morata double gives Juve winning start over Dynamo Kyiv
Juventus made a winning start in the Champions League as it defeated Dynamo Kyiv 2-0, thanks to a pair of classic poacher's goals from Alvaro Morata in their Group G opener on Tuesday.
Juve coach Andrea Pirlo enjoyed his first win as a manager in Europe's elite club competition, which he won twice with AC Milan during his playing days as a midfielder.
With Cristiano Ronaldo ruled out following a positive test for COVID-19, Dejan Kulusevski was twinned with Morata up front and Federico Chiesa created some early chances for the visitor.
However, Juve suffered an early setback when defender Giorgio Chiellini had to be substituted in the 19th minute with what appeared to be a hamstring injury, forcing Pirlo to reshuffle his defence before Morata came to the rescue.
A clever backheel by Aaron Ramsey set up Kulusevski and although the Swedish winger's shot was saved, Morata was on hand to fire home the rebound and the Spaniard then stole in front of his marker to head home from close range in the 84th minute.
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The COVID-19-limited crowd roared on the host but Kyiv struggled to create decent chances on its return to the Champions League after a four-year absence as Juve comfortably closed out the win.
"The goal early in the second half helped us because we had more space afterwards," said Juventus winger Chiesa. "We wanted this victory badly because it's important to have a great start in the UEFA Champions League.
"The expectations are always high at Juve, but we try to win every time we take the pitch," he added.
Juventus hosts Barcelona in its next group game on Oct. 28, while Dynamo Kyiv travel to Hungarian side Ferencvaros.
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