Messi nets double as Barcelona cruise into quarter-finals

Barcelona put Celta Vigo to the sword with an emphatic 5-0 victory at the Camp Nou, as the defending champions booked their place in the Copa del Rey quarter-finals.

Messi and Alba combine for three goals
Suarez puts Barca 4-up at the break
Rakitic seals big win in closing stages

Match Summary

The cup-tie was delicately poised at 1-1, but Lionel Messi made all the difference in the second leg as Ernesto Valverde’s side stormed into a 4-0 lead at the break.

Messi bagged a quick-fire brace and then assisted Jordi Alba for the third before Luiz Suarez effectively killed off the game in the closing stages of the first half. Ivan Rakitic completed the rout late on.

Full Report

The visitors failed to pitch up in the first half and they were duly punished by Barca, who were out of sight at the half-time whistle.

The record holders enjoyed the lion’s share of possession and made good use of the ball, with Messi heavily involved after being rested for the first leg.

The Argentina international threatened for the first time on 10 minutes when he surged forward on the counter before being crowded out, but he latched onto a loose ball and tested Sergio Alvarez with a low shot from 20 yards out.

Messi broke the deadlock just three minutes later, as he beat Alvarez from 17 yards out after connecting with Alba’s first-time cross from the left.

The same combination saw the hosts double their lead on the quarter-hour mark. Messi tucked the ball into the bottom-right corner of the net from 14 yards out after playing a one-two with Alba to get inside the box.

Shortly after seeing Rakitic fizz a long-range strike wide of the left post, Alvarez pulled off a sharp save to tip over Andres Iniesta’s shot on 22 minutes after Messi’s backheel played the midfielder in through the middle.

The roles were reversed six minutes later as Messi picked out Alba with a superb diagonal pass and the left-back produced a fine finish on the slide.

Worse was to follow for Celta on 31 minutes when Pione Sisto gifted the ball to Suarez inside the box with a poor backpass and the Uruguay international smashed his shot into the top-right corner of the goal.

Juan Carlos Unzue’s men finally had a sniff of goal two minutes before half-time as Daniel Wass looked to pick out Iago Aspas with a header into the six-yard box, but the striker was unable to steer the ball on target with an acrobatic effort.

Unzue made two changes at the break in a bid to stem the tide and it worked to a large extent. Emre Mor created an early chance in the second half as he cut inside from the left and lashed a shot well over the crossbar from 20 yards out.

However, Barca’s dominance continued. Suarez failed to trouble Alvarez on 67 minutes with a volley that flew over the bar from Nelson Semedo’s cross on the right, before firing straight at the keeper moments later after being set up by Sergio Busquets.

Jose Arnaiz could only hit the side-netting from a tight angle on the right in the 72nd minute after latching onto a fine ball over the top from fellow substitute Ousmane Dembele. Suarez then went for the spectacular 10 minutes from time when he spotted Alvarez off his line, but missed to the left of the goal from all of 45 yards out.

But the Catalan giants would get on the scoresheet in the second half, as an unmarked Rakitic directed a header into the right corner of the net from a corner in the 87th minute to rubber-stamp their progress.