By FOX SPORTS staff
Five minutes was all it took for FIFA Ballon d'Or winner Messi to get going against AC Milan in the second leg of the teams' Champions League Round of 16 tie. Rossoneri goalkeeper Christian Abbiati was kept busy throughout the rest of the game as Barcelona attempted to complete their comeback after the team lost the opening fixture of the tie 2-0.
Despite Abbiati's efforts however, Messi doubled the La Liga side's tally just before half-time. David Villa, making a surprise start ahead of Cesc Fabregas, justified Roura's faith in him with a third on the 55th minute, before full-back Jordi Alba quelled any chance of a Milan revival with a goal in added time.
Speaking to uefa.com after the game, Roura praised the Barcelona squad for rising to the challenge presented by Massimiliano Allegri's squad.
"It was an incredible game. We went into it with a very difficult result from the first leg," he pointed out.
"These players have shown once again that they are very special. They put in a great work-rate, they showed real dedication. I am very proud of them."
In charge of the Catalan side while manager Tito Vilanova recovers from parotid gland cancer, Roura explained the importance of Villa's role in freeing up space for Messi to work his magic during the fixture.
"We tried to open up the pitch while pushing [David] Villa towards their central defenders in order to prevent them moving into the position of our false No9, [Lionel] Messi," he stated.
"That led to a higher attacking intensity in the final third."
Barcelona lost three of their last five games prior to the second leg of their tie against the Rossoneri, but Roura believed the team's resounding win on Tuesday night was evidence that they were still one of the world's leading squads.
"The criticism [of the team] lately has been too strong. For that reason we have to be doubly proud of the players who showed their commitment and intensity here,"
"Their efforts are incomparable. The important thing was how we reacted to [previous] defeats. With everything this team have won in the past their ambition and desire are still intact."
Barcelona will next contest a domestic fixture against Rayo Vallecano over the weekend.