Florenzi's wonder strike stuns holders Barcelona

Roma hold Barcelona to a draw while Chelsea put dismal domestic form behind them.

    Florenzi's wonder strike stuns holders Barcelona
    Florenzi was just inside Barcelona's half when he unleashed his looping effort [EPA]

    Alessandro Florenzi scored an extraordinary goal from a seemingly impossible position on the right touchline, around 40 metres from goal, to give AS Roma a 1-1 draw against Barcelona in the Champions League.

    Florenzi raced down the touchline and was just inside the Barcelona half when he spotted Marc-Andre ter Stegen off his line and unleashed a looping effort which flew over the Barca goalkeeper's head and into the net off the far post.

    Ter Stegen ran back desperately, then appeared to stop thinking that the ball would go out only to see it land in the goal in the 31st minute of the Group E game.

    Luis Suarez had given Barcelona the lead 10 minutes earlier as they began the defence of their title.

    Elsewhere, Chelsea forgot their Premier League woes and got their Champions League campaign off to a flying start with a 4-0 thrashing of Israeli champions Maccabi Tel Aviv at Stamford Bridge.

    Despite Eden Hazard blazing an early penalty high over the bar, Chelsea scored twice in the first half with Willian finding the net with a 30-metre free kick after 15 minutes and Oscar scoring from their second penalty with the last kick of the opening 45 minutes.

    Chelsea are currently 17th in the English Premier League [EPA]

    Diego Costa, who replaced Willian after the Brazilian was injured after 20 minutes, brilliantly volleyed in Chelsea's third after 58 minutes with Cesc Fabregas finishing off a breakaway for the fourth after 78. 

    Meanwhile, Hakan Calhanoglu struck twice as Bayer Leverkusen crushed BATE Borisov 4-1 with newcomer Javier Hernandez also on target in their confidence-boosting win.

    Nicknamed 'Chicharito' (Little Pea), the diminutive Mexico striker, who joined from Manchester United last month to replace Son Heung-min who left for Tottenham Hotspur, scored the Germans' third goal, sliding his low shot under keeper Sergei Chernik.

    Admir Mehmedi and Calhanoglu had earlier scored for Leverkusen either side of Nemanja Milunovic' equaliser before Calhanoglu scored from the penalty spot in the 76th minute.

    Results:

    Bayer Leverkusen 4-1 BATE 

    Roma 1-1 Barcelona

    Dinamo Zagreb 2-1 Arsenal 

    Olympiakos 0-3 Bayern Munich

    Chelsea 4-0 Maccabi Tel Aviv

    Dynamo Kiev 2-2 FC Porto

    Gent 1-1 Lyon

    Valencia 2-3 Zenit St. Petersburg

    SOURCE: Agencies


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