Messi mission on course after masterclass against Lyon


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

Barcelona's 5-1 thrashing of Lyon in their Champions League last 16 second leg, a score that overlooked a nervy spell in the second half when the visitors were a goal from going through, in the end, was all about him.Messi scored twice, including once from the penalty spot, although it was no ordinary spot-kick, instead a delightful chip that hung in the air and plopped perfectly down the middle.

There was a pair of assists too, for Gerard Pique and Ousmane Dembele, during a three-goal flurry in the final 12 minutes, with Messi leaving Lyon defenders sprawled to add a second of his own."Almost everything went through Messi," said Lyon coach Bruno Genesio, whose team had held Barcelona to a 0-0 draw in the first leg.

"When he is at that kind of level he is almost unstoppable. We did what we could.

"They restricted him to two goals, one short of Cristiano Ronaldo's hat-trick that had sent Juventus through and Atletico Madrid crashing out in Turin on Tuesday.

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