Messi powers five-star Barcelona as Liverpool make it four English teams in the Champions League quarter-finals

Two tight matches turned into comfortable wins in the end for FC Barcelona and Liverpool in the UEFA Champions League round of 16.

In Barcelona, Lionel Messi was involved in four of his team's five goals as they went through 5-1 winners against Olympique Lyonnais.

Meanwhile, goals from Sadio Mané and Virgil van Dijk sent Liverpool through to the quarter-finals, beating FC Bayern 3-1 in Germany.

Both ties had finished goalless in the first leg, meaning that the winner on the night would definitely be going through.

Barcelona and Lyon shared a close match for the majority of the game, before a late flurry of goals made the scoreline look very dominant indeed.

Messi opened the scoring from the penalty spot on 17 minutes after Luis Suárez was brought down by Jason Denayer, and Suárez set up Coutinho for Barça's second on 31 minutes.

However, Lyon struck back just before the hour-mark through Lucas Tousart, threatening to score an equaliser that would take them through on the away goals rule.

With Lyon pushing forwards, it left spaces for the LaLiga leaders to exploit.

Messi got his second of the game on 78 minutes, and then set up goals for Piqué and Dembélé three and eight minutes later.

It gave him two goals and two assists, and ensured that Barcelona would be in the Champions League quarter-finals for the 12th season in a row.
 

For the majority of the match, Bayern and Liverpool shared a close tie. 

Mané broke the deadlock after 26 minutes, picking up a long ball from Van Dijk before tricking goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, who had come very far out of his goal.

However, it was only 13 minutes before a Serge Gnabry cross was deflected into the Liverpool net by Reds defender Joël Matip.

In the 69th minute, a James Milner corner picked out the towering Van Dijk, who headed home to put Liverpool back in front. The Reds would already have been going through with the scores at 1-1 thanks to the away goals rule, but the goal gave them extra security.

Another header 15 minutes later increased that security even more. This time it was Mohamed Salah picking out Sadio Mané with a teasing cross, and the Senegalese forward glanced the ball home at the back post.

The results mean that Barcelona and Liverpool join Juventus, Ajax, Porto, and the three other English teams Manchester United, Manchester City, and Tottenham Hotspur in the draw for the quarter-finals.

The draw will take place on Friday March 15.

 


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