Lionel Messi did not score a hattrick on Wednesday night but the two goals from the Argentine was more than enough as Barcelona thrashed Lyon 5-1 to pick one of the UEFA Champions League quarter-final tickets.
Having played a barren draw in France a fortnight ago, Wednesday’s second leg tie was believed to be open.
However, it was Barcelona that seized the initiative as they took a two-goal lead inside the first half thanks to goals from Phillippe Coutinho and Messi from the penalty spot.
There was some form of drama early in the second half when Lyon reduced Barcelona’s lead through a well-taken goal by Lucas Tousart. The French club needed to score one more goal to take the advantage via away’s goal rule.
But it was Messi who again provided another moment of brilliance to make it 3-1 before Gerrard Pique and substitute Moussa Dembele added one goal each to give Barcelona the comprehensive win.
In Germany, Jurgen Klopp proved that he has a deep knowledge of clubs from his home country as he led Liverpool to a 3-1 win over Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena.
Two goals from Sadio Mane and one from Virgil van Dijk ensured Liverpool’s qualification for the quarter-final.
With Manchester United and City as well as Tottenham also qualifying, this will be the first time since the 2008-09 campaign that four English teams will be pulling through.