Sanchez puts Barca in driving seat

Bayer Leverkusen 1 Barcelona 3

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The Independent Football

Two goals from Alexis Sanchez helped Barcelona put one foot in the quarter-finals as they secured a hard-fought 3-1 win in their first leg at Bayer Leverkusen last night.

The Chilean rolled home his first Champions League goal just before the break after a smart passing move, only for Michal Kadlec to level matters just after the restart, heading home a cross from Tottenham loanee Vedran Corluka. Sanchez then cottoned on to Cesc Fabregas' fine pass to round home goalkeeper Bernd Leno for his 10th goal in 10 matches, before Lionel Messi put the seal on a superb display by stabbing home Dani Alves' cross.

Lyons edged to a 1-0 success over the Cypriot side Apoel Nicosia, Alexandre Lacazette dividing the sides with a deflected second-half effort.