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Messi scores in 700th match as Barca ease into last-16

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By Reuters
Messi scores in 700th match as Barca ease into last-16
Soccer Football - Champions League - Group F - FC Barcelona v Borussia Dortmund - Camp Nou, Barcelona, Spain - November 27, 2019 Barcelona's Lionel Messi scores their second goal REUTERS/Albert Gea   -   Copyright  ALBERT GEA(Reuters)

BARCELONA (Reuters) – Lionel Messi scored in his 700th match for Barcelona and also set up goals for Luis Suarez and Antoine Griezmann as the Catalans beat Borussia Dortmund 3-1 on Wednesday to seal a spot in the Champions League knockout stages as Group F winners.

Suarez put Barca in front at a packed and rocking Camp Nou in the 29th minute after having an earlier effort ruled out for offside before the Uruguayan set up Messi on his landmark night four minutes later.

Griezmann finished off a pass from Messi to further stretch Barca’s lead in the 67th minute and get a much-needed goal for his confidence after failing to score in his previous six appearances for the club.

Dortmund’s England forward Jadon Sancho scored an impressive consolation strike for the Germans in the 77th minute and then forced Barca keeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen to turn a shot on to the crossbar.

But the visitors’ strong finish could not tarnish a therapeutic win for Barca, who had come in for scathing criticism for their recent poor displays against Leganes and Slavia Prague.

Ernesto Valverde’s side top the group with 11 points from five games, Inter Milan are second on seven while Dortmund are third, also on seven, with Slavia bottom with two.

(Reporting by Richard Martin; Editing by Ian Chadband)