BARCELONA, Spain – Lionel Messi scored a hat trick to deal a humbling defeat to his former mentor Pep Guardiola on Wednesday, leading Barcelona to an emphatic 4-0 victory over Manchester City in the Champions League.
Messi sped through City’s defence and around former Barcelona goalkeeper Claudio Bravo before giving the hosts the 17th-minute lead in a Group C match that both teams finished with 10 men.
It only got worse for Bravo, who was sent off in the 53rd minute for using his hands to block a shot outside the area after his poor pass gifted the ball to Luis Suarez.
Messi struck again in the 61st and 69th to take his total to 89 goals in Europe’s top club competition. The Argentina forward is second only to Cristiano Ronaldo’s 98.
Barcelona’s substitute defender Jeremy Mathieu was sent off in the 73rd minute for a second yellow card.
Neymar rounded off the win from a pass by Messi, moments after the Brazil striker had missed a penalty that Messi had earned.
Guardiola lost for the second time upon returning to Camp Nou where he established himself as one of the world’s top managers by leading Barcelona to 14 titles from 2008-12. The former Barcelona midfielder coached Bayern Munich when the German side lost 3-0 here in the Champions League semifinals two years ago, when Messi scored twice.
After winning its first 10 matches under Guardiola, City has now gone winless in four games in all competitions.
Barcelona extended its unbeaten run at home in European competition to 18 matches.
A third win in as many games increased the five-time European champion control of the group. Barcelona has nine points, while City was left with four.
The two powerhouses will meet again in Manchester on Nov. 1.
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