Messi Evens to Top Score Again

  • By: Andy Schooler
  • Last Updated: September 19 2012, 22:38 BST

Lionel Messi is as short as even money to be the Champions League's top scorer for the fifth season running after he helped Barcelona avoid an embarrassing defeat on Wednesday.

Lionel Messi (r): Already has two goals

After Barca had fallen 2-1 down at home to Spartak Moscow, Messi struck twice to earn the 2006, 2009 and 2011 winners a 3-2 victory.

Messi is now evens with Coral for the top scorer honour. 11/8 is available if you shop around.

In the outright market, Barcelona are now a best of 13/5 with Paddy Power.

Meanwhile, holders Chelsea and Manchester United failed to impress the layers in their opening matches on Wednesday.

Chelsea blew a two-goal lead, given to them by new boy Oscar, as they were held 2-2 at home by Juventus and were duly pushed out by several firms. A general 16/1 is available about the Blues.

Manchester United beat Galatasaray 1-0 thanks to an early Michael Carrick goal but their Turkish opponents had plenty of chances to take something from the game, hitting the woodwork twice and having two strong penalty shouts turned down.

Sir Alex Ferguson's side drifted in places, but BetVictor still go 10/1.

Juventus and Bayern Munich were the main movers on the night, both being cut after gaining impressive results.

All the 20/1 about Juve winning the trophy has gone after their result at Stamford Bridge. The Italians are now a best of 16/1 for glory at Wembley next May.

Juventus' draw sees them take over as favourites in the Group E betting. William Hill go 5/6, with Chelsea now out to 7/4.

Bayern Munich, last season's runners-up, were also trimmed after beating Valencia 2-1. BetVictor are will give you 11/1, in from 14s before the game.

Real Madrid, winners over Manchester City by the same scoreline on Tuesday, are a top price of 4/1 with BetVictor.

City are 12/1 shots, with Arsenal - 2-1 victors in Montpellier on Tuesday - available at 20/1.

Celtic, who began their campaign with a goalless draw at home to Benfica, were cut from 11/2 to 5/1 to qualify for the knockout stage by Coral.

Hill's make an all-British final a 6/1 shot, while Manchester United are still their favourites to progress the furthest of the British sides. They are chalked up at 13/8 to do so.