If the 2-0 defeat to Hercules last Saturday tempted us into thinking Barcelona are yet to gel this season, last night’s display against Panathanikos reminded us that they are the team to fear in the Champions League.
After 20 minutes, Sidney Govou gave Panathanikos a surprise lead, silencing the Nou Camp crowd for just 60 seconds as Lionel Messi responded with the first of his two goals.
Lionel Messi was inspirational for the Catalan side and could’ve had a hat-trick but for a surprise penalty miss and the woodwork.
David Villa contributed with his first Champions League goal before Pedro and Dani Alves completed the rout.
It was a display of dominance from Pep Guardiola’s side and the 5/2 offered for them to win the Champions League could be very good value.
Reigning champions Inter Milan were held to a 2-2 draw upon Wesley Sneijder’s return to Holland and it was down to Samuel Eto to spare Rafa Benitez’s blushes with a late goal.
With Spurs drawing with Werder in Germany, that leaves all four teams in Group A with a point from their opening game but Inter continue to stay odds on 4/6 to top the group.
Valencia put four past Bursaspor in Turkey, and their next game at home to Manchester United is crucial in the race to top Group C, Valencia are 9/4 whilst United are 2/5.
There were home wins for Benfica, Copenhagen and Lyon, with Copenhagen’s 1-0 defeat of Rubin Kazan the surprise result of the night, and the Danish side will look to qualify from their group which includes Barcelona.
United’s draw with Rangers has seen them drift to 8/1 from 6/1 to win the Champions League. See the latest Champions League football betting markets here.