BARCELONA (Reuters) – Lionel Messi scored two goals and provided two more as Barcelona reached the quarter-finals of the Champions League in style, thrashing Olympique Lyonnais 5-1 at home and advancing by the same scoreline on aggregate.
Barca captain Messi nonchalantly opened the scoring with a ‘Panenka’ penalty chipped down the middle of the goal in the 17th minute after Luis Suarez was fouled in the area, putting his side ahead in the tie after a goalless first leg in France.
Suarez then rounded Lyon goalkeeper Anthony Lopes to lay on a perfect pass for the unmarked Philippe Coutinho to nudge into an open net and double Barca’s lead, although Lyon hauled themselves back into contention with a second-half strike from Lucas Tousart.
Messi soon killed off any hopes of an unlikely comeback from the French side, however, carving his way through the defence to score in the 78th minute before toying with Lyon’s back line twice more and laying off passes for Gerard Pique and then Ousmane Dembele to complete the rout.
Elsewhere on Wednesday, Sadio Mane displayed ‘ridiculous’ skill while scoring Liverpool’s first goal in their 3-1 win at Bayern Munich on Wednesday to help the Premier League club ease into the Champions League quarter-finals, team mate James Milner said.
Mane controlled a Virgil van Dijk long ball with a sublime touch that took Rafinha out of the equation and left on-rushing keeper Manuel Neuer stranded, before delicately chipping the ball over Mats Hummels and Niklas Suele and into the net.
The Senegal international also headed in Liverpool’s third of the night for his 10th goal in as many games in all competitions for the Merseyside club.
“Sadio is on fire. The first goal was ridiculous really, how he finished it off, the calmness and the finish,” Milner told reporters. “Hopefully that continues for the rest of the season.”
The Senegalese’s 18th and 19th goals of the season helped Liverpool join Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur in the quarter-finals, the first time since 2009 that four English teams have reached this stage of the competition.