In the first 18 minutes after the break, Barça scored another four goals
Messi completed his full-house in the closing stages, and Bayer 04 scored their consolation goal in injury time
FC Barcelona are already in the quarter-finals of the Champions. The holders walked all over Bayer 04 Leverkusen in the second leg of the last 16 and gave them a 7-1 thrashing which, together with the 3-1 win in the away leg, gave them an overall score of 10-2. The resistance of the Germans, finalists in the competition ten years ago, lasted about 25 minutes, until Leo Messi opened his scoring account.
This Wednesday, the Argentinian broke all his scoring records: he scored five goals, an absolute record in the history of the Champions League. His full-house of goals, 2 before the break, was accompanied by two goals from Tello, who almost scored a hat-trick.
So, FC Barcelona are through to the quarters for the fifth consecutive season, and still hope to become the first holder of the Champions League to defend their crown. Meanwhile, the team are etching exhibitions like this one into the history books.
Bayer 04 come out bravely
The first half at the Camp Nou wasn’t anything like the game at the BayArena. Here, as the manager, Robin Dutt, had said, Bayer 04 Leverkusen came out fighting from the opening whistle. The Germans, with nothing to lose, forgot the ultra-defensive approach of the first leg, and pressurised Barça really high up the pitch, closing down the spaces during the first ten minutes. During this time, FC Barcelona didn’t even have one shot on goal, which is rare for them.
Messi scores twice
After this initial period, Guardiola’s players finally managed to gain possession and push Bayer 04 Leverkusen further back, where their only opportunities would come from counter-attacks. In one of those they conceded the first goal by Messi. The Argentinian received a great pass from Xavi and took advantage of the advanced German defence to beat Leno with a fantastic chip.
After the1-0, which came just before the half hour mark, FC Barcelona had their best minutes. Fluid in the circulation of the ball, they scored the second after Mascherano won the ball and Iniesta made the final pass. ¿And the scorer? Messi again, who left Leno standing like a statue.
Cesc distributes gifts
At the start of the second half with a 5-1 overall score in the tie, one might have thought that FC Barcelona would take their foot off the throttle. Well, no. Barça came back for more and quickly got the goal they deserved. Messi’s name was also on the goal, when he scored his hat-trick with another chip over the keeper, this time with his right foot after a Cesc through ball.
Cesc was also the creator of the 4-0, which came moments later, without Iniesta and Xavi on the pitch, as they’d been substituted by Keita and Tello. Tello found himself on the left wing with a direct run on goal and, once in the box, beat Leno with a low shot.
More Messi, more Tello
The way Barça came out after the break promised a lot more. In 18 minutes Barça scored four goals and went an amazing 6-0 up. The fifth goal also carried Messi’s seal, who took advantage of a defensive error, and Tello scored the sixth, with the help of Leno, who didn’t have much success in the second half. The Camp Nou, now with Muniesa on the pitch, was one big wave of emotion, and for good reason.
It was for good reason, precisely, because Barça continued to attack again and again despite the six goals. In the closing stages, Messi became the first player in the history of the Champions League to score five goals in one game, thanks to a well placed shot from the edge of the area. Bayer 04 Leverkusen, emotionally shattered, managed to go down with honour thanks to a last ditch goal from Bellarabi. The champion had walked all over them, are now in quarters, and they want more. They’re hungry.