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13 Mar, 2019 22:16

Mighty Messi bags brace as Barcelona demolish toothless Lyon 5-1 to make CL quarters

Mighty Messi bags brace as Barcelona demolish toothless Lyon 5-1 to make CL quarters

Lionel Messi scored a picture-perfect Panenka penalty and stylish solo goal before setting up two more as Barcelona thrashed Lyon in a match that was tense only for twenty minutes in the second half.

The Spanish champions jumped into an early lead in a series that was 0-0 after the first leg, when Messi converted a VAR-reviewed penalty with a cool chip. The lead was doubled before half-time after sterling set-up work from Luis Suarez, who set Philippe Coutinho up for a tap-in.

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But Barcelona came out for the second half complacent against a side that had no shots on goal since early in the first leg, and in the 58th minute French midfielder Lucas Tousart volleyed from close-range after a scramble in the area. Now Lyon only needed to score once more for the away goal win.

Barcelona quickly came alive, and Messi came into his own. A fake shot following a solo run to the edge of the area fooled two Lyon defenders, and a soft right-foot strike rolled into goal after contact with substitute keeper Mathieu Gorgelin's outstretched glove.

At once the spaces began to open up behind Lyon's advancing lines, and Messi served up two perfectly-timed assists for Gerard Pique and Ousmane Dembele, though frankly, after his second goal, the result was never in doubt.

Barcelona become the only Spanish team to survive to the Champions League last eight, but will be confident of competing against the English giants and Juventus after Wednesday's confident display.