Messi stars with brace as Barcelona cruise past Celta Vigo
Barcelona 5 - 0 Celta Vigo

Messi stars with brace as Barcelona cruise past Celta Vigo

12/01/2018

Lionel Messi scored twice as holders Barcelona cruised into the quarterfinals of the Copa del Rey with a 5-0 victory over Celta Vigo at the Camp Nou on Thursday night.

The tie was delicately poised at 1-1 after a first leg in which Celta played extremely well against, admittedly, an under-strength Barca team but Ernesto Valverde recalled the likes of Jordi Alba, Andres Iniesta, Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi for the return match and the Catalans blitzed their opponents with an utterly dominant first-half display.

Messi scored two quick goals and then set up Alba before Suarez netted the fourth goal with just 31 minutes on the clock.

Barcelona took their foot off the pedal in the second half and Ivan Rakitic completed the scoring three minutes from time.

Celta followed up their impressive performance in the first leg with another excellent showing at the weekend to draw against Real Madrid. It was always going to be a big ask for a third high-intensity display in a week and they looked off the pace from the beginning.

Messi almost got in behind the Celta defence on two occasions early on but each time the visitors managed to scramble the ball clear. The Argentina international then worked goalkeeper Sergio Alvarez with a shot from the edge of the area.

It would not be long before he was on the scoresheet, though. Alba did well down the left and put a low cross into the box which Suarez left for Messi to sweep home after 13 minutes. Two minutes later the same combination linked up again as Messi poked home another Alba cross.

A last-ditch block denied Iniesta a goal after he was set up by a delightful back-heel by Messi. Having been teed-up by Alba for both his goals, the five-time FIFA Player of the Year returned the favour in the 28th minute with a lovely curling pass and the attacking full-back got to the ball before Sergio to prod it into the net.

Suarez soon got in on the act as he capitalised on a dreadful mistake by Pione Sisto, who attempted to pass the ball back to his goalkeeper. Suarez was on to it quickly and blasted in the fourth goal.

New signing Philippe Coutinho was seen to be enjoying the show as he watched from the stands. The €160 million Brazilian is not expected to be available for around three weeks because of a thigh injury but he must be licking his lips at the prospect of getting out on the pitch with his teammates.

Having inflicted such damage during the first half, Barcelona took their foot off the gas after the break. Messi and Iniesta were replaced either side of the hour mark but the hosts remained a threat and Suarez was not too far away with a volley.

Two substitutes Jose Arniaz and Ousmane Dembele linked up nicely midway through the second half and Arniaz sent a shot into the side netting.

Suarez almost scored a stunning goal when he attempted to chip Sergio from way out before Rakitic rounded off the rout with a header from a Dembele corner after 87 minutes.

Related news

Barcelona see off Levante, but Copa del Rey future still in doubt

Barcelona see off Levante, but Copa del Rey future still in doubt

Barcelona's Ousmane Dembele and Lionel Messi were on target as the Copa del Rey holders thrashed Levante 3-0 at the Nou Camp on Thursday for a 4-2 aggregate win to reach the quarterfinals.

Real Madrid reach Copa del Rey quarters despite lacklustre loss to Leganes

Real Madrid reach Copa del Rey quarters despite lacklustre loss to Leganes

Real Madrid limped into the quarterfinals of the Copa del Rey on Wednesday, losing 1-0 at Leganes with an another lacklustre performance yet still advancing 3-1 on aggregate.

Dani Ceballos rescues Real Madrid over Betis with late free kick goal

Dani Ceballos rescues Real Madrid over Betis with late free kick goal

Injury-hit Real Madrid snatched a 2-1 victory at Real Betis on Sunday, earning their first La Liga win of the year thanks to a late free kick from Dani Ceballos to return to the top four.

Messi scores 400th La Liga goal as Barcelona beat Eibar to extend lead at top

Messi scores 400th La Liga goal as Barcelona beat Eibar to extend lead at top

Luis Suarez scored twice while Lionel Messi scored his 400th La Liga goal as Barcelona re-opened a five-point lead over second place Atletico Madrid in La Liga with a 3-0 win over Eibar.

Bilbao's Inaki Williams strikes twice as Sevilla's hopes fade

Bilbao's Inaki Williams strikes twice as Sevilla's hopes fade

Sevilla's hopes of staying in the La Liga title race faded further with a 2-0 defeat on Sunday at struggling Athletic Bilbao, who boosted their chances of survival with two wonderful goals from Inaki Williams.

Griezmann strikes for fifth game in a row to give Atletico narrow win over Levante

Griezmann strikes for fifth game in a row to give Atletico narrow win over Levante

Antoine Griezmann proved to be Atletico Madrid's decisive figure yet again as the Frenchman struck the only goal in a 1-0 win at home to Levante on Sunday which kept Diego Simeone's side in touch with La Liga leaders Barcelona.

Levante take first-leg lead over Barcelona in Copa del Rey round of 16

Levante take first-leg lead over Barcelona in Copa del Rey round of 16

Barcelona's recent iron grip on the Copa del Rey came under threat as they lost 2-1 at Levante in their last-16 first-leg tie on Thursday after resting a host of first team regulars, including Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.

Vinicius Jr. has goal and assist in Real Madrid's Copa del Rey win against Leganes

Vinicius Jr. has goal and assist in Real Madrid's Copa del Rey win against Leganes

Real Madrid pulled away from Leganes in the second half for a 3-0 win in their Copa del Rey first-leg tie on Wednesday.

Griezmann strikes again as Atletico held to Copa del Rey draw at Girona

Griezmann strikes again as Atletico held to Copa del Rey draw at Girona

Atletico Madrid earned a 1-1 draw away to Girona in a chaotic and entertaining Copa del Rey last 16 first-leg match on Wednesday, leaving the tie finely balanced.

RELATED NEWS

Barcelona see off Levante, but Copa del Rey future still in doubt
Barcelona 3 - 0 Levante

Barcelona see off Levante, but Copa del Rey future still in doubt

Barcelona's Ousmane Dembele and Lionel Messi were on target as the Copa del Rey holders thrashed Levante 3-0 at the Nou Camp on Thursday for a 4-2 aggregate win to reach the quarterfinals.

Real Madrid reach Copa del Rey quarters despite lacklustre loss to Leganes
Leganes 1 - 0 Real Madrid

Real Madrid reach Copa del Rey quarters despite lacklustre loss to Leganes

Real Madrid limped into the quarterfinals of the Copa del Rey on Wednesday, losing 1-0 at Leganes with an another lacklustre performance yet still advancing 3-1 on aggregate.

Dani Ceballos rescues Real Madrid over Betis with late free kick goal
Betis 1 - 2 Real Madrid

Dani Ceballos rescues Real Madrid over Betis with late free kick goal

Injury-hit Real Madrid snatched a 2-1 victory at Real Betis on Sunday, earning their first La Liga win of the year thanks to a late free kick from Dani Ceballos to return to the top four.

Messi scores 400th La Liga goal as Barcelona beat Eibar to extend lead at top
Barcelona 3 - 0 Eibar

Messi scores 400th La Liga goal as Barcelona beat Eibar to extend lead at top

Luis Suarez scored twice while Lionel Messi scored his 400th La Liga goal as Barcelona re-opened a five-point lead over second place Atletico Madrid in La Liga with a 3-0 win over Eibar.

Bilbao's Inaki Williams strikes twice as Sevilla's hopes fade
Bilbao 2 - 0 Sevilla

Bilbao's Inaki Williams strikes twice as Sevilla's hopes fade

Sevilla's hopes of staying in the La Liga title race faded further with a 2-0 defeat on Sunday at struggling Athletic Bilbao, who boosted their chances of survival with two wonderful goals from Inaki Williams.

Griezmann strikes for fifth game in a row to give Atletico narrow win over Levante
Atletico Madrid 1 - 0 Levante

Griezmann strikes for fifth game in a row to give Atletico narrow win over Levante

Antoine Griezmann proved to be Atletico Madrid's decisive figure yet again as the Frenchman struck the only goal in a 1-0 win at home to Levante on Sunday which kept Diego Simeone's side in touch with La Liga leaders Barcelona.

Levante take first-leg lead over Barcelona in Copa del Rey round of 16
Levante 2 - 1 Barcelona

Levante take first-leg lead over Barcelona in Copa del Rey round of 16

Barcelona's recent iron grip on the Copa del Rey came under threat as they lost 2-1 at Levante in their last-16 first-leg tie on Thursday after resting a host of first team regulars, including Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.

Vinicius Jr. has goal and assist in Real Madrid's Copa del Rey win against Leganes
Real Madrid 3 - 0 Leganes

Vinicius Jr. has goal and assist in Real Madrid's Copa del Rey win against Leganes

Real Madrid pulled away from Leganes in the second half for a 3-0 win in their Copa del Rey first-leg tie on Wednesday.

Griezmann strikes again as Atletico held to Copa del Rey draw at Girona
Girona 1 - 1 Atletico Madrid

Griezmann strikes again as Atletico held to Copa del Rey draw at Girona

Atletico Madrid earned a 1-1 draw away to Girona in a chaotic and entertaining Copa del Rey last 16 first-leg match on Wednesday, leaving the tie finely balanced.

DERBY OF THE WEEK
-
Derby of the week
20:45
31/12/2019
Derby of the week
W -    
   W -
The odds are correct at the time of publishing
and are subject to change
Football Live Scores
Tennis Live Scores