Messi hits five while tiny Apoel go through

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

 

Lionel Messi at his breathtaking best tore Bayer Leverkusen apart with a record five-goal Champions League haul last night as Barcelona swept into the quarter-finals 7-1 on the night and 10-2 on aggregate.

Meanwhile, in a further piece of history, Apoel Nicosia became the first Cypriot side to reach the last eight of a European competition after knocking out Lyons on penalties.

Messi became the first player to score five in a Champions League match. Substitute Cristian Tello scored twice as the holders equalled the biggest victory margin in the knockout stages of the competition.

The World Player of the Year, who did not appear to have a bead of sweat on him after the match at the Nou Camp, took his tally to 12 goals in seven Champions League appearances this term, equalling the record for a single season he shares with former Manchester United striker Ruud van Nistelrooy.

All five strikes against a hapless Leverkusen, including brilliant dinked efforts with either foot, showcased the stunning skills honed in Barça's youth academy that have won him the World Player award for the past three years.

"The important thing is what the team did and that we qualified for the next round," a typically modest Messi said afterwards. "It's nice to score five but winning was the priority."

After they lost last month's round of 16 first leg in Leverkusen 3-1, the Bundesliga side's mission impossible was effectively ended when Messi sped on to Xavi's lofted pass and brilliantly scooped the ball over goalkeeper Bernd Leno in the 25th minute.

He added a second with a trademark run across the defence and low shot three minutes before half-time and completed his hat-trick with another stunning chip, this time with his right foot, four minutes after the break.

Tello netted twice either side of Messi's fourth, which came after Leno spilled the ball at his feet, and the Argentine bagged his fifth with a powerful strike six minutes from time before Leverkusen substitute Karim Bellarabi scored in added time.

"He is a unique player," the Barça coach, Pep Guardiola said. "Scoring five goals is not easy but if Leo sets himself the task of scoring six one day he will certainly do it"

In the night's other game, Cypriot minnows Apoel kicked off an island party by beating Lyons 4-3 on penalties after a 1-0 win meant their tie finished 1-1 on aggregate after extra time.

Lyons' Alexandre Lacazette and Michel Bastos had their spot-kicks confidently saved by Dionisios Chiotis. Apoel scored all four of their spot-kicks with aplomb to send their team mates and fervent fans into delirium in the tight GSP Stadium, with Chiotis mobbed on the pitch.

Gustavo Manduca, sent off in extra time for a second booking, had earlier netted at the far post on nine minutes as Apoel levelled the aggregate scores

"I think the players were very focused and at the end we were vindicated by our qualification," Apoel coach Ivan Jovanovic said. "Just saying it, believe me, it's something fantastic."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic