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Champions League PIX: Messi takes Barca into quarters; Liverpool through

Last updated on: March 14, 2019 11:36 IST

Barcelona's Lionel Messi dribbles past Lyon's Anthony Lopes in their Champions League Round of 16 second leg match at Camp Nou on Wednesday

IMAGE: Barcelona's Lionel Messi dribbles past Lyon's Anthony Lopes in their Champions League Round of 16 second leg match at Camp Nou on Wednesday. Photograph: Susana Vera/Reuters

Lionel Messi lead the way with two goals and two assists as Barcelona reached the quarter-finals of the Champions League in style by thrashing Olympique Lyonnais 5-1 at home on Wednesday and advancing by the same scoreline on aggregate.

Barca captain Messi opened the scoring with a "Panenka" penalty chipped straight down the middle in the 17th minute after Luis Suarez was fouled in the area, putting the home 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.

"We played a great first half, then from a moment's distraction it was 2-1 and we had five or 10 delicate minutes," said Barca striker Suarez.

Barcelona's Gerard Pique ceebrates as he scores his team's fourth goal against Olympique Lyonnais 

IMAGE: Barcelona's Gerard Pique ceebrates as he scores his team's fourth goal against Olympique Lyonnais. Photograph: Maja Hitij/Getty Images

"We always knew it would be like this. The important thing is that we got the third goal and then we were far calmer."

Barca coach Ernesto Valverde had warned his side of complacency after Paris St Germain and Real Madrid's surprise exits, and his words carried more weight after Atletico Madrid were knocked out by Juventus despite a 2-0 first leg win.

His side were in a more vulnerable position as a score draw would have sent them out, and they began the game as if they meant business, with Messi firing an early shot which Lopes had to beat away for a corner.

Lyon's Lopes had to be taken off injured later in the first half, leaving the field in tears after taking a blow to the face, with Mathieu Gorgelin replacing him and making his Champions League debut.

Barca looked unsettled for a brief period after Tousart's goal had put Lyon one goal away from knocking the Catalans out, and the home side defended with an air of panic.

But Messi soon eased their nerves, toying with Lyon's defence before releasing a shot too powerful for Gorgelin to stop.

Barcelona's Philippe Coutinho is challenged by Olympique Lyonnais' Anthony Lopes 

IMAGE: Barcelona's Philippe Coutinho is challenged by Olympique Lyonnais' Anthony Lopes. Photograph: David Ramos/Getty Images

He continued to torment the visitors, gifting defender Pique a sliding tap-in with a beautiful pass and then setting up substitute Dembele.

Barca reached the last eight of Europe's elite competition for the 12th consecutive season and will be Spain's only representatives in Friday's quarter-final draw.

Lyon goalscorer Tousart had little complaint about the final result and said his side were powerless to deal with Messi.

"We have to concede they were better than us. We weren’t up to the challenge and we were up against a great team, and in the end we were well beaten," he said.

"There was no anti-Messi plan, and it's so difficult to defend against a player of his quality. He has instinctive talent."

Lyon coach Bruno Genesio added: "Tonight Messi was in Champions League mode. He's a genius and can do things that nobody else can. Sometimes he is just unstoppable."

Mane double helps Liverpool ease past Bayern into quarters

Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk scores their second goal

IMAGE: Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk scores their second goal. Photograph: Andrew Boyers/Action Images via Reuters

Sadio Mane scored twice to hand Liverpool a 3-1 Champions League victory at Bayern Munich on Wednesday as they nullified their German opponents with a dominant performance that sent them through to the quarter-finals.

After the last-16 first leg ended goalless at Anfield, five-times European champions Liverpool took control in Munich, bossing the game to become the fourth English team into the last eight with their first away win in Europe this season.

What had the potential to be a thrilling encounter turned into a scrappy affair with both teams making mistakes in possession, but Bayern were prevented from applying sustained pressure and were picked off at key moments.

Mane opened the scoring, pouncing on a needless charge out of his goal by Manuel Neuer in his 100th Champions League appearance, to round the Bayern keeper with a superb turn before chipping his finish into the empty net in the 26th minute.

The German champions levelled 13 minutes later against the run of play when winger Serge Gnabry beat his marker and his cutback was turned into the goal by Liverpool defender Joel Matip.

Centre back Virgil van Dijk, who had missed the first leg last month, killed off any German hopes of a comeback when he rose high to head home in the 69th minute before Mane headed in his second in the 84th.

"It is a wonderful Champions League night for Liverpool again and that is good," said Liverpool coach Juergen Klopp.

"The desire was outstanding. We've laid down a marker tonight that LFC is back on the top level of European football."

Last season's runners-up Liverpool completed a full house of English teams in the last eight, the first time this has happened since the 2008/9 season, with Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester United and ManchesterCity already through.

Germany, however, will be without a quarter-finalist for the first time in 11 years.

Bayern knew they had to be more adventurous than they had been at Anfield, but they were suffocated by Liverpool's intense pressing in the first half.

"We faced a very tough opponent and over both legs Liverpool were the better team," said Bayern coach Niko Kovac.

"They boxed us in, attacked early and we were not able to break free. We did not have our best day. We were shown our limits."

"We still have two titles to fight for. We are top in the Bundesliga and in the Cup."

The Reds, beaten by Real Madrid in last season's final, suffered an early blow when captain Jordan Henderson hobbled off with an ankle injury.

Mane's goal gave them the edge but instead of adding to their lead when they had the upper hand, Matip's own goal let Bayern back into the game against the run of play.

The Bavarians, who had reached the Champions League quarter-finals or better in each of the last seven seasons, needed a second with Liverpool heading through on the away goals rule.

Liverpool, however, kept up the pressure and were rewarded when Dutchman Van Dijk grabbed his third goal in his last four appearances in all competitions.

"Both teams were cautious but the second goal took the wind out of our sails," said defender Mats Hummels. "Before that it was very tight. But after the 2-1 we just could not turn it around."

Mane completed a memorable win with a well-timed header after a delightful lofted pass from Mohamed Salah as Liverpool stretched their unbeaten run in Champions League last-16 matches to eight following a 1-0 loss at home to Barcelona in 2007.

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