9 Aug 2020

Barca, Bayern cruise into ECL quarterfinals

12:50 pm on 9 August 2020

A fired-up Lionel Messi led Barcelona to a 3-1 win at home to Napoli for a 4-2 aggregate victory which took the club into the Champions League quarter-finals for the 13th consecutive season.

Lionel Messi scored twice in Barcelona's demolition of Manchester United.

Lionel Messi. Photo: Photosport

The Catalans had a shaky start but took the lead in the 10th minute with a powerful header from a corner by Clement Lenglet before Messi scored a superb second in the 23rd, seeing off four defenders to curl the ball into the far bottom corner.

Messi had the ball in the net again soon after following a superb team move but the goal was harshly ruled out for handball by the Argentine following a VAR review, although Messi later won a penalty which Luis Suarez converted for Barca's third.

Napoli got one back when Lorenzo Insigne converted a spot kick at the end of the first half and were the better side after the interval but Barca survived to set up a mouth-watering clash with Bayern Munich in the Final Eight tournament in Lisbon next weekend.

Bayern striker Robert Lewandowski struck twice and set up two more goals as they cruised past Chelsea 4-1 to secure a 7-1 aggregate victory and remain on course for a treble of titles.

The Bavarians, who have wrapped up the domestic league and Cup double and are on an 18-game winning streak across all competitions quickly killed off the tie with a ninth minute Lewandowski penalty.

Polish striker Lewandowski, with 53 goals in 44 matches in all competitions this season, turned provider to set up Ivan Perisic in the 24th minute as the hosts showed no lack of fitness despite a five-week gap since their last competitive game.

Chelsea, who conceded seven goals in a two-legged European tie for the first time, did not lack match practice having played in the FA Cup final last week. But many of their players were missing through injury, including Cesar Azpilicueta, Christian Pulisic and Pedro.

- Reuters