Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 25th 2014 Contents A69
Monday, August 25, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
BARCELONA---Lionel Messi scored twice
to help 10-man Barcelona start the Span-
ish league with a 3-0 win over Elche in
the debut of coach Luis Enrique yester-
day, with the Argentina star looking
eager to put last season s disappoint-
ments behind him.
Messi used a signature burst of speed
to dribble free of a pack of opponents
before slotting in Barcelona s first goal
in the 41st.
Minutes later Barcelona lost Javier
Mascherano to a direct red card when he
fouled Elche s Garry Rodrigues with only
goalkeeper Claudio Bravo to beat.
But Barcelona s 18-year-old Munir El
Haddadi, starting for the injured Neymar,
scored seconds after halftime before Messi
got his second goal in the 63rd after again
confounding a group of defenders.
Elsewhere, promoted Eibar beat Real
Sociedad 1-0 for a winning debut in the
first division, while Celta Vigo beat Getafe
After Barcelona lost its Spanish league
title in the last round of last season and
Argentina lost to Germany in the World
Cup final, Messi summed up his desire
for the new campaign to begin by writing
on Facebook before the game: "First
match today!!! I hope God is on our side
for a great season."
It started with a bad omen, though:
Just seconds after kickoff, the game was
paused when a black cat ran onto the
Camp Nou pitch before stewards managed
to herd it off.
But aside from Mascherano s red card,
there was no bad luck for Barcelona.
Messi looked back to his best and his
pair of goals seemed the perfect answer
to critics who had said the four-time
world player of the year had lost a step.
He was lively from the start, both in
attack and in defense, and scored his goals
in classic Messi fashion: Putting the ball
on his left boot to breeze around his
markers before picking his spot in the
opponent s net.
With Neymar out and new signing Luis
Suarez suspended until October, Munir
got the nod from Enrique and had
Barcelona s first chance when he fired
the ball off the goalframe in the 22nd.
Andres Iniesta followed suit with a
strike onto the crossbar in the 32nd as
Barcelona piled up chances before Messi
Sergio Busquets sent an errant Elche
pass to Messi, who used four quick
touches to open an angle around three
Elche players before slotting home his
Moments after Barcelona grabbed the
lead, Busquets poor back pass forced
Mascherano to foul Rodrigues to stop a
one-one-one opportunity with Bravo.
Elche failed to take advantage of the
extra man and Munir, who had only
debuted with Barcelona s "B-team" in
March, doubled the lead with a skillful
tap with the tip of his left boot to float
Ivan Rakitic s long pass over goalie Prze-
Messi added the third goal despite
being shadowed by four defenders, skirt-
ing along the edge of the area until he
saw the chance to slot the ball inside the
Messi's back with
double as Barca canters
HARRISON---Thierry Henry and Bradley Wright-
Phillips each scored twice in the second half goals
to lead the New York Red Bulls to a 4-2 win over
the Montreal Impact in Major League Soccer on Sat-
Dilly Duka opened the scoring for Montreal in the
37th minute when he made a long run before squeezing
a shot between New York goalkeeper Luis Robles and
the near post..
Henry s diving header leveled the match at 1-1 in
the 53rd minute for New York and added his second
in the 67th when he bent a ball around Montreal goal-
keeper Evan Bush.
Henry s pass in the 74th minute set up Bradley
Wright-Phillips first goal. Wright-Phillips capped the
scoring with an angled shot in the 91st.
Andres Romero curled in a goal from the 18-yard
line in the 79th minute for Montreal.
New England s Lee Nguyen scored the lone goal as
the Revolution beat Chivas USA 1-0.
Nguyen s shot from long range in the 56th minute
was his team-leading ninth goal of the season.
At Columbus, Ohio, Justin Meram scored one goal
and set up another as the Columbus Crew downed
the Houston Dynamo 3-0.
Meram opened the scoring for the Crew off a defen-
sive error in the 35th minute and Adam Bedell made
it 2-0 with a header in the 59th
Bedell was replaced immediately after scoring by
Aaron Schoenfeld who notched a third goal for the
Crew 5 minutes later.
DC United defeated Sporting Kansas City 3-0 in
a matchup of the top teams in the MLS Eastern Con-
ference after scoring all three goals in an eight-minute
Henry takes Bulls
by the horn
New York Red Bulls forward Thierry Henry reacts as
he is taken out an international friendly soccer game
against Arsenal earlier this year. He scored twice as
the Bulls beat Montreal 4-2 on Saturday.
FC Barcelona's Lionel Messi from
Argentina, left, duels for the ball against
Elche's Edu Albacar during a Spanish La
Liga soccer match at the Camp Nou
stadium in Barcelona, Spain, yesterday.
ATHENS---Danijel Pranjic s 84th-minute penalty
allowed Panathinaikos to salvage a 1-1 draw at Leva-
diakos in its Greek league opener yesterday.
Veteran defender Ilias Kotsios, a former Panathi-
naikos player, had opened the scoring for Levadiakos
in the 77th with a header from a corner kick.
Swedish forward Marcus Berg, Panathinaikos top
scorer last season, broke his collarbone and will likely
be out of action for a couple of months, Panathinaikos
officials said. Berg had scored all his team s four goals
in the 4-1 Europa League win over Denmark s Midtjyl-
land on Thursday.
Also, PAOK stumbled to a 1-1 home draw against
Kalloni, Giannena beat Asteras 3-1, Atromitos beat
Platanias 1-0 and Veria saw a two-goal advantage
over Xanthi negated before snatching a 3-2 victory
with a late goal.
Panathinaikos draws 1-1
at Levadiakos in opener
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