Lionel Messi chalked up his 100th Champions League goal at the Camp Nou on Wednesday evening as Barcelona defeated Chelsea 3-0 to progress to the quarter finals 4-1 on aggregate.
With barely enough time for the ‘God Save the King’ banner in honour of Messi to be cleared away, the Argentinian struck and after breaking his Chelsea duck to level the first leg, Messi took two minutes to give Barcelona the lead.
Messi’s attempted one-two with Ousmane Dembele, bobbled instead into the path of Luis Suárez and the Uruguayan slipped in the number ten to slot the ball from an acute angle through the legs of Thibaut Courtois. The 601st goal of Messi’s incredible career and the quickest of them all.
Chelsea were causing problems but Messi’s magic was again the difference after 20 minutes when he nicked the ball from Cesc Fabregas, dashed away from three defenders before rolling the ball into the path for Dembele to smash in a second.
The visitors were probably deserving of more and struck the woodwork twice but the tie was wrapped up shortly after the hour mark when Suárez fed Messi and the world’s best player once more found the gap between Courtois’ legs.
Barcelona’s quest for the treble continues and with Messi in such form, it cannot be ruled out.
Meanwhile, Juventus moved four points clear of Napoli at the top of Serie A with a 2-0 win over Atalanta.
Gonzalo Higuaín dashed clear to finish expertly on the half hour mark, Pipita’s 20th of the season, before Blaise Matuidi sealed the win moments after Gianluca Mancini had been sent off for Atalanta.
Juve’s 12th consecutive league win has reeled in Napoli and the defending champions are now in pole position for a seventh straight title with ten matches remaining.
Higuaín’s form has been central to that run and with Jorge Sampaoli bringing the centre forward back into the Argentina squad, Pipita will be hoping to continue that in La Albiceleste.