Van Nistelrooy and Chamakh victims as Champions League records fall

Champions League achievements by a former Manchester United striker and soon to be ex-Arsenal forward were leveled or surpassed last night.

Barcelona's 4-0 Champions League win over Milan was a truly remarkable performance. It was impossible to tell the same side had beaten Barcelona 2-0 just a fortnight previous.

It was a record setting night in many ways, with Lionel Messis continuing his ascendancy up the competition's all-time goalscoring charts.

His first half brace became the 57th and 58th goals he has scored in the Champions League, taking him into second place in the history of the competition.

The man he overtook last night was former Manchester United and Real Madrid striker, Ruud van Nistelrooy, who he had been level on prior to the night with 56 goals.

He now stands alone in second place, but is some way short of all-time tournament top scorer, Real Madrid icon Raul.

Raul has 71 goals, 13 ahead of Messi, but with the Barcelona man only 25-years-old you would have to be a brave man against him breaking the record and creating yet more history.

At this rate, he could even eclipse Raul's record by the end of next season, and then he will be shooting for the 100 goal barrier.

One record Messi has been unable to break so far for all his achievements is a long-standing feat by Arsenal flop Marouane Chamakh.

The Moroccan remarkably held the record for being the only player to score in six consecutive Champions League matches, an accomplishment which took in three goals for Bordeaux and three for Arsenal in his first games for the Gunners.

Sadly it has been all downhill for the striker ever since, now on loan at West Ham, but until last night nobody had been able to break or match his record.

The man who managed to match it was Burak Yilmaz, now joint top of the scoring charts with Cristiano Ronaldo with eight goals.

The Turkish striker has now netted in six consecutive matches for Galatasaray, last night netting a crucial goal to give them an away advantage against Schalke just before half-time in a 3-2 away win and 4-3 aggregate victory.

Yilmaz will now be going all out to break Chamakh's record outright in the next round, with the opponent yet to be determined, but with 22 goals to his name already this season few would likewise bet against him breaking it.

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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