United had overcome a two-goal deficit at Paris St Germain last month but Messi's first-half brace and a wonder strike from Philippe Coutinho ushered Barcelona towards a 3-0 victory, 4-0 on aggregate, at the ground of one of the Premier League side's greatest triumphs.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was insistent that the 1999 Champions League final win over Bayern Munich would have no bearing on this quarter-final second leg and his remarks proved accurate.
While his side made an energetic start, with Marcus Rashford denied by the goal frame within seconds of kick-off, Barcelona became more proactive and Messi, as he so often has done in the past, took top billing.
Relive all of the drama below.
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Good afternoon and welcome to our live coverage of Barcelona vs Manchester United in the Champions League.
Miguel Delaney is in Barcelona for us this evening and wrote the following preview ahead of the match:
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has spent the last few days trying to whip his players up, but in a different way to recently, since there was something else he was trying to play down.
This time, as he sat in the Nou Camp press room, he just wasn’t getting into all the talk about 1999. When a Catalan journalist inevitably asked him about it ahead of Manchester United’s Champions League quarter-final second leg in Barcelona, Solskjaer came out with the following: “I don’t look back on that night too often.”
Jonathan Liew is at Camp Nou tonight and, despite the magnetic lustre of Messi, Luis Suarez and co. who will attempt to wreak havoc in attack, it is Barcelona's often overlooked defence who United will find equally difficult to combat tonight.
The Camp Nou really is one of the most beautiful stadiums in the world...
There's been interest in Philippe Coutinho over the past few weeks as the transfer window start to kick into gear, but Barcelona have told potential suitors that the playmaker is not for sale.
And don't forget Juventus host Ajax tonight in another knife-edge tie. The Italian champions clung on to a 1-1 draw in Amsterdam, but were thoroughly outplayed. Can Ajax produce another performance of the same ilk tonight in Turin?
In a worrying story, the Dutch side will have to do without at least 54 of their travelling fans at the Allianz Stadium this evening after a group of supporters were found to be carrying weapons on arrival in Turin.
We've given plenty of love for Barcelona's palatial home already, but Juventus have their own 21st century cathedral of European football primed for a huge night of Champions League action:
Ernesto Valverde is a more pragmatist than romantic as a manager, and with the league virtually wrapped up the Barcelona manager opted to rest the entirety of his anticipated outfield lineup in Saturday's 0-0 draw with Huesca.
With Lionel Messi's facial injury but a flesh wound and no other fresh injury concerns, it seems likely we'll see the same eleven players who started the first leg on the team sheet when news emerges in the next 45 minutes or so.
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