UEFA Champions League: Barca on brink of elimination, Salah scores fastest hat trick

Barcelona slipped closer to a second straight Champions League group-stage exit despite Robert Lewandowski's double in a thrilling 3-3 draw with Inter Milan on Wednesday, while Mohamed Salah scored the fastest hat trick in the competition's history as Liverpool hammered Rangers.

Bayern Munich, Napoli and Club Brugge -- for the first time since the inaugural group stage in 1991-92 -- all booked places in the last 16.

Xavi's Barca needed a victory at the Camp Nou to keep its fate in its own hands, and Ousmane Dembele's goal after a cleverly-worked short corner gave the hosts a half-time lead.

But Inter turned the match on its head early in the second half, as Gerard Pique left a cross into the box and Nicolo Barella stole in unmarked to equalize.

Lautaro Martinez took advantage of more weak defending to put the Italians in front just after the hour mark, drilling in a low strike which went in off both posts.

Lewandowski equalized with eight minutes remaining as his deflected effort wrong-footed goalkeeper Andre Onana, but Inter substitute Robin Gosens looked to have knocked out the five-time champions with his 89th-minute effort.

Lewandowski's towering header in stoppage time gave Barca four minutes to find a winner, but it was Gosens who almost won it for Inter only to be denied by Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

The La Liga leaders now trail second-placed Inter by three points in Group C, but with a stronger head-to-head record, Simone Inzaghi's team will qualify with Bayern if it beats pointless Viktoria Plzen at home in two weeks.

"We had an enormous opportunity and we didn't take it," said Barcelona defender Eric Garcia. "We made errors that at this level, you cannot make."

Bayern reached the knockout phase for a 15th consecutive season with a 4-2 victory at Plzen.

The German champions romped into a 4-0 halftime advantage through goals from Sadio Mane and Thomas Mueller and Leon Goretzka's brace.

Adam Vlkanova and Jan Kliment gave the home fans two goals to cheer, but the Czechs bowed out of the competition.

Liverpool arrived at Ibrox under pressure after a weekend loss to Arsenal saw Jurgen Klopp's men slip to 10th in the Premier League.

Rangers stunned the visitors in the 17th minute as Canadian Scott Arfield slotted in, before Roberto Firmino leveled.

The Scots caved in the second half, though, as Firmino's second and Darwin Nunez's first Champions League goal for Liverpool put the game to bed for last season's losing finalists.

Salah came off the bench and wasted no time in scoring a six-minute hat trick, breaking Bafetimbi Gomis' record from 2011.

Harvey Elliott wrapped up a 7-1 victory late on as Liverpool moved within a point of the next round.

"From the outside everyone expected us to win but we take it a game at a time," Virgil van Dijk told BT Sport. "We know we're in a tough period."

Earlier, Group A leader Napoli progressed as it extended its unbeaten start to the season with a 4-2 home victory over Ajax.

Hirving Lozano and Giacomo Raspadori scored inside the first 16 minutes as the hosts made a flying start against opponents they thrashed 6-1 a week earlier.

Davy Klaassen and Steven Bergwijn both netted for Ajax in the second period, but further Napoli goals from Khvicha Kvaratskhelia and Victor Osimhen made it four wins from four for the Serie A pace-setters.

Ajax will have to beat Liverpool next time out in Amsterdam to keep its hopes of going through alive.

Unfancied Club Brugge booked a ticket to the knockouts with a gutsy goalless draw at Atletico Madrid.

"I have already done a lot of things in my career, but this was a very big moment," Brugge goalkeeper Simon Mignolet told RTL Belgium.

Brugge, who had Kamal Sowah sent off with 10 minutes to play, is four points clear at the Group B summit from Porto, which won 3-0 at Bayer Leverkusen.

Galeno gave visitors Porto an early lead, before Kerem Demirbay missed a penalty and Patrik Schick saw a potential equalizer ruled out by VAR for handball.

Porto was controversially given a penalty that was scored by Mehdi Taremi in the 53rd minute, and the Iranian wrapped up the points with another spot-kick.

Tottenham climbed to the top of a tight Group D with a tense 3-2 victory over Eintracht Frankfurt in London.

Harry Kane's penalty and two goals for Son Heung-min were enough to send Eintracht to the foot of the standings.

Marseille leapfrogged Sporting Lisbon into second place on head-to-head as Alexis Sanchez scored in a 2-0 win that saw the Portuguese finish the game with nine men.


© Agence France-Presse

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