The Argentine then carved his way through the hapless visiting defence moments later to tee up France left back Lucas Digne to score his first goal in the Champions League for Barca.

Lionel Messi scored his 100th goal in European competition as Barcelona moved close to qualifying for the Champions League knockout stages by outclassing Olympiakos 3-1 on Wednesday despite playing the entire second half with 10 men.

Barca dominated from the off and could have been ahead in the fifth minute had Luis Suarez not surprisingly missed the target with a stretching effort at the far post after Samuel Umtiti’s headed flick-on from a corner.

Barca looked to be heading for a clean sheet despite Pique’s dismissal.

Ernesto Valverde‘s side were ahead moments later, though, as the lively Gerard Deulofeu volleyed a cross into the box which was sliced into his own net by 19-year-old defender Nikolaou.

Barcelona were back on the front foot seconds later, though, and Messi was forced to wait a little longer for his milestone goal when he was denied by Proto from inside the area. And, since it was his second yellow of the match after receiving one in the 11th minute, instead of doubling Barca’s advantage, Pique was off!

Messi struck his landmark goal in Europe from a free kick in the 61st minute to double Barca’s lead.

Referee William Collum made a decision to send Pique off after the centre-back turned the ball into the net with his arm.

But who impressed most for them?

Gerard Pique was bizarrely given his marching orders in Barcelona’s 3-1 defeat of Olympiacos and a couple of confused supporters began celebrating the defender’s red card.

Nikolaou headed a late consolation for the visitors, but the Catalans remain top of their group having won three from three in the 2017-18 tournament so far. A win at Olympiakos in two weeks will seal their place in the last 16.