Match - Tue 1 November, 21:45,
|10. (45 + 2’)|
|10. (90 + 2’)|
Messi fires Barca to the knockout stage
Barcelona's Lionel Messi (10) celebrates with team-mates after scoring
Following the 1-1 draw between BATE and AC Milan, Pep Guardiola’s men needed a victory to ensure their passage and they made no mistake with Cesc Fabregas adding to Messi’s hat-trick.
The Catalans had a good penalty shout turned down in the 11th minute when Cesc Fabregas was clearly hacked down by Petr Jiracek inside the penalty area but somehow the referee and his assistants saw nothing wrong with the challenge.
The home side had the perfect chance to score against the run of play five minutes late when Milan Petrzela broke through the middle and found himself facing Victor Valdes; he tried to pick his spot but Valdes pulled off a great save to block the ball for a corner.
The Czech’s were made to pay for that missed chance six minutes later when Barca were finally awarded a penalty when Messi was fouled by Marian Cisovky, who earned himself a straight red card.
Messi got up to take the spot kick and sent the goalkeeper Roman Pavlik the wrong way to score his 200th goal in Barcelona colours.
The Argentine got his second goal of the match moments before the half-time, playing a neat one-two with Adriano before firing a low shot past the goalkeeper from inside the box.
Thiago Alcantara connected with a Messi cross in the 67th minute but he was unfortunate to his well-timed header crashing against the crossbar, but the third goal did arrive three minutes later when Isaac Cuenca delivered a perfect cross from the right for Fabregas to head home.
Messi completed the rout in injury time when he was put through by a great pass from Gerard Pique; he accelerated around the goalkeeper before passing the ball into an empty net.