Messi leads demolition of Lyon to advance Barcelona

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Lionel Messi praised Cristiano Ronaldo's "magical" performance for Juventus against Atletico Madrid on Tuesday after helping Barcelona join the Italians in the Champions League quarterfinals.

That came in 2009 when Ronaldo suffered defeat with Manchester United at the hands of a Messi-inspired Barcelona in Rome, with the Argentine netting a 70th-minute goal in a 2-0 win. Four players registered goals for the Spanish giants, including Messi, Philippe Coutinho, Gerard Pique and Ousmane Dembele.

Lionel Messi pledged at the start of the season to bring "that lovely cup" back to the Camp Nou and on the evidence of Wednesday night, few would bet against him.

Not since Bayern's Wembley win against Dortmund in 2013 has a Champions League been won without one of them in the victorious team and there has been no sign of either of them slowing up in this season's competition.

Barcelona is seeking its sixth ever UEFA Champions League title and first since the 2014-15 campaign. He helped Real win four of the past five Champions Leagues and it is hard to imagine the Spanish giants winning any of them without the Portuguese star's contribution.

Barcelona was on the front foot from the start and Lyon goalkeeper Anthony Lopes did well to swat away Messi's first shot on goal shortly after kickoff.

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Capello continued to name the two other players who were on the same level as Messi, "there are three geniuses in football, Pele, Diego Maradona and Messi".

Suarez continued to torment Lyon s backline with his runs into the box. 2-0 And Coutinho taps the ball into the back of the net! Coutinho will shine if he's given time and be allowed to play his game. But Lopes finally asked to be substituted in the 34th. Amid the scramble, Tousart had time to chest and volley into the corner.

Nabil Fekir then fired high as Lyon's pressure anxious Barcelona for the first time. "He produced an outstanding performance tonight, he was incredible", Barca coach Ernesto Valverde said.

"When he is at that kind of level, he is nearly unstoppable", Lyon coach Bruno Genesio said. Then, he twice tore away on the counter-attack, picking out Pique at the back post and finally Dembele, who made it five. "The third goal completely broke us".

"But every team left is hard, so let's see who we get next".

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