Messi stars as Barca thrash Celta to reach Copa del Rey Q/finals

Messi stars as Barca thrash Celta to reach Copa del Rey Q/finals

Messi stars as Barca thrash Celta to reach Copa del Rey Q/finals

Earlier Thursday, Espanyol overturned a 2-1 loss in the first leg to defeat Levante 2-0 with Leo Baptistao and Gerard Moreno on target either side of half-time.

This Copa Del Rey last 16 tie is finely poised after a 1-1 draw in Vigo last week which saw Celta play extremely well, before the Galicians then went on to shine in a 2-2 league draw against Real Madrid on Sunday evening.

Luis Suarez and Ivan Rakitic also scored for the LaLiga giants, who moved into the quarter-finals with a 6-1 aggregate success.

Celta Vigo: Sergio 5, Hugo Mallo 5, Sergi Gomez 5, Andreu Fontas 5, Jonny 5, Daniel Wass 5, Stanislav Lobotka 5, Jozabed 5, Iago Aspas 6, Maxi Gomez 5, Pione Sisto 5.

Messi netted twice in two minutes inside the opening quarter of an hour, steering home from two Alba crosses, before he returned the favour with a sumptuous pass that allowed the full-back to score his second goal of the season.

Lionel Messi scored twice as Barcelona thrashed Celta Vigo to book a place in the last eight
Lionel Messi scored twice as Barcelona thrashed Celta Vigo to book a place in the last eight

New £145million signing Coutinho was not named in Barca's squad.

Messi turned provider in the 28th minute, sending a pass over the top to Alba, who was able to score at the near post.

It was 2-0 two minutes later when Alba and Messi combined once again with the latter scoring with a first-time finish. It often looks like Messi is playing a different game to his contemporaries and after getting his name on the scoresheet twice he set up Barcelona's third goal.

Messi helped pad Barcelona's advantage even more before the half-hour mark, returning the favor to Jordi Alba with an inch-perfect diagonal ball, which the sliding left back rifled home to make it 3-0 on the night, 4-1 on aggregate.

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