Lionel Messi scored two excellent goals to help Barcelona beat Milan 4-0 in the Champions League on Tuesday evening at Camp Nou.
Barca came into the match facing a daunting 2-0 deficit after the first leg at San Siro, but Messi’s heroics ensured that the Catalan side advanced to the quarter-finals of Europe’s most prestigious club competition.
Messi set the tone early on with an absolutely magnificent goal in the fifth minute to give his team a 1-0 lead and bring the home side back in the tie.
M’baye Niang then had a glorious opportunity to score for Milan five minutes before the break, but he hit the post with only Barca keeper Victor Valdes to beat.
The Italian side was then made to pay dearly for that miss, as Lionel Messi scored again to give Barca a 2-0 advantage on the night just before the half-time interval and more importantly notch the score 2-2 on aggregate.
Barcelona kept on coming at Milan in waves at the beginning of the second half and was rewarded once more when David Villa scored the crucial third goal, which put the hosts up 3-0 on the evening and 3-2 on aggregate.
The Spanish Liga club were not free and clear yet though, as one single goal for Milan would see the Serie A club advance to the last eight at Barca’s expense.
The home side defended resolutely for the next 20 minutes and was on the ropes before Jordi Alba met Alexis Sanchez’s cross and tapped in to send the Camp Nou in raptures.
The 4-0 victory (4-2 on aggregate) on the night ensures Barcelona advanced to the Champions League quarter-finals for the sixth straight time.
Lionel Messi’s two goals now give him seven in this year’s tournament and silenced the critics, who had claimed that an era was about to end at Barcelona.