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Messi scores 100th Champions League goal, as Barca beat Chelsea 3-0 (4-1)

Lionel Messi scored two brilliant goals and created another for Ousmane Dembele as Barcelona thrashed Chelsea 3-0 on Wednesday to reach the Champions League quarter-finals 4-1 on aggregate.

Messi scored twice in the 3-0 victory over Chelsea to hit triple figures, in what was his 123rd match in the tournament.

Since scoring his first against Panathinaikos on November 2, 2005, he has put 99 more in the back of the net and has scored 81 of his 100 with his left foot, 15 with his right and four with his head.

The Argentine forward created the second with a blistering run from the halfway line which left three Chelsea defenders stumbling in his wake, before squaring the ball for Ousmane Dembele to rifle home his first goal for the club.

Marcos Alonso hit the post and Olivier Giroud was unfortunate not to be awarded a penalty for a tangle with Gerard Pique as Chelsea tried to launch a comeback, before Messi killed the tie with his 100th Champions League goal.

“To have Messi in the team is a luxury, he’s such a good player that in any move he can create danger against you,” Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde said.

“Our attacking play goes through him and any move is improved by his touch.”

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte said his side needed a perfect display to progress but they started disastrously at a packed Nou Camp when Luis Suarez teed up Messi, who squeezed a low strike through the legs of Courtois from a tight angle.

The visitors responded well with Giroud and Willian, who scored in the 1-1 first-leg draw at Stamford Bridge, particularly bright in attack.

But a mistake from Cesc Fabregas on the halfway line allowed Messi to break in again after 20 minutes and the number 10 left the Chelsea backline in tatters to set up the second goal, expertly finished by Dembele.

The English side, now needing two goals, nearly got one before halftime. N’Golo Kante dragged a shot inches wide and Marcos Alonso crashed a free kick off the post.

 
It was the third time across the two legs that Chelsea hit the woodwork and Antonio Rudiger did it again in the closing stages.

Giroud appeared to be brought down by Pique in the area but referee Damir Skomina did not bow to Chelsea’s protests for a penalty, before Messi drove at the defence again and slotted home Barcelona’s third in the 62nd minute, shooting low between Courtois’ legs for the second time.

“(For) the first goal, I did not expect Messi to shoot from that angle and I was too late in closing my legs, it was a mistake on my part,” Courtois told BT Sport.

REUTERS

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