Messi nets 2

Barcelona reaches Copa quar­ters

Sun.Star Davao - - FRONT PAGE -

BARCELONA, Spain — Lionel Messi scored twice in the space of three min­utes to help Barcelona to a 5-0 win over Celta Vigo on Thurs­day as the hold­ers ad­vanced to the quar­ter­fi­nals of the Copa del Rey.

Messi, who also cre­ated Barcelona's third goal for Jordi Alba, set his team on its way to a 6-1 ag­gre­gate vic­tory with his 21st and 22nd goals in all com­pe­ti­tions this sea­son.

Alba had pro­vided the as­sists for Messi's strikes in the 13th and 15th min­utes, and the Barcelona star re­turned the fa­vor by set­ting up the left back to score in the 28th.

Luis Suarez made it 4-0 be­fore half­time, while Messi was re­placed by Ous­mane Dem­bele be­fore the hour mark. Ivan Rakitic headed in a cor­ner kick by Dem­bele in the fi­nal min­utes to com­plete the rout.

New sign­ing Philippe Coutinho watched from the Camp Nou stands fol­low­ing his club-record trans­fer from Liver­pool ear­lier this week. The Brazil mid­fielder will make his de­but af­ter he re­cov­ers from a right leg mus­cle in­jury.

Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde took no chances af­ter the 1-1 draw in the first leg, start­ing Messi in his first ap­pear­ance in the com­pe­ti­tion this sea­son af­ter rest­ing the Ar­gentina for­ward for the first three cup games.AP

AP Photo/Manu Fer­nan­dez

MESSI BRACE. FC Barcelona's Lionel Messi cel­e­brates af­ter scor­ing dur­ing the Span­ish Copa del Rey round of 16 sec­ond leg soc­cer match be­tween FC Barcelona and Celta de Vigo at the Camp Nou sta­dium in Barcelona, Spain, Thurs­day, Jan. 11, 2018. He scored two goals in Barcelona's 5-0 win.

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