City outclass Gladbach in dominant display

Barcelona beat BATE Borisov as Neymar scores two and adds an assist


Neymar struck twice as Barcelona moved ever closer towards a place in the knockout stages of the Champions League with a 3-0 win over Group E rivals BATE Borisov.

The Brazilian forward put Barca ahead in the 30th minute from the penalty spot after substitute Munir El Haddidi went down in the area following contact from Filip Mladenovic.

The hosts almost doubled their lead five minutes later but Adriano's strike rattled the left post.

Luis Suarez made it 2-0 on the hour and was unlucky not to add another when his 68th-minute shot hit the post.

Neymar put the game beyond BATE's reach when he scored his second to earn the title holders their third successive win in the competition.

Barca are five points clear of Roma, who won 3-2 against Bayer Leverkusen in the other pool game. Roma's victory prevented Barca from booking a place in the last 16.

Barcelona coach Luis Enrique left Gerard Pique and Jordi Alba on the bench and instead started Thomas Vermaelen, giving the Belgian defender his Barca Champions League debut.

Returning to the starting XI was captain Andres Iniesta, who come on as a second-half substitute in Barca's 2-0 win at Getafe on Saturday after recovering from a hamstring problem.

The hosts had the first chance in the fourth minute when Neymar fed Suarez in the area but the Uruguay forward struck wide from a good position.

In the 17th minute, Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen kept out Igor Stasevich's powerful free-kick.

Three minutes later and Barca were forced to make their first substitution as Munir replaced an injured Ivan Rakitic.

The referee pointed to the penalty spot in the 30th minute after Mladenovic brought Munir down in the area.

Neymar sent the keeper the other way as he hit a right-footed shot into the back of the net.

Barca were unlucky not to double their lead in the 35th minute when Neymar fed Adriano in the box and his right-footed shot beat Chernik but struck the left post.

Before the interval, Ter Stegen was called on to make a save to repel Stasevich's bullet strike.

Barca almost went 2-0 up five minutes after the re-start but an excellent save from Chernik kept out Suarez's five-yard shot.

The home side's efforts paid off as they extended their advantage shortly after, however.

Suarez played a one-two with Neymar on the edge of BATE's area before the Uruguay forward struck past Chernik for his third goal in four games in this season's competition.

In the 67th minute, Chernik made a great point-blank save from Neymar's close-range attempt.

Seconds later, Suarez struck the left post with a right-footed effort from six yards.

Barca killed the game off in the 83rd minute when a fast break saw Suarez set up an unmarked Neymar in the box and the Brazilian smashed the ball towards the centre of goal and out of Chernik's reach.

The Spaniards host Roma on Nov. 24 while BATE, who are bottom of Group E with three points, next take on Leverkusen in Belarus.

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