Lionel Messi.
Lionel Messi. Getty Images / Manuel Queimadelos

Messi closes in on goal record

FOOTBALL: Argentinean superstar Lionel Messi moved closer to Real Madrid legend Raul's Champions League scoring record after he scored a hat-trick in Barcelona's 4-0 victory over Dutch champions Ajax at the Camp Nou yesterday.

The hat-trick means Messi is now just nine goals behind Raul's haul of 71 goals - the four-time world player of the year has scored 43 goals in his last 41 Champions League games.

He is also the first player to score four hat-tricks in the competition.

AC Milan beat Celtic 2-0 in the night's other Group H game. Elsewhere, goals from Aaron Ramsey and Theo Walcott secured Arsenal a record 10th consecutive away win in all competition's after a 2-1 victory against Marseille in Group F.

The winning streak started after they beat last season's Champions League winners Bayern Munich in the second leg of their last 16 tie on March 13.

Fellow Londoners Chelsea did not have anything to celebrate after a shock 2-1 loss at home against Swiss side Basel in Group G.

Basel's win was the first by a Swiss side in 20 competitive visits to England since 1995.