The Barcelona star expected to see more from his La Liga rivals and was shocked to watch the Portuguese star take over the match
Lionel Messi had another night to remember for Barcelona on Wednesday, scoring twice and adding two assists as Barcelona rolled past Lyon 5-1 in the second leg of their Champions League round of 16 showdown to book their place in the quarter-finals.
The win saw Barcelona make it 30 Champions League games at Camp Nou unbeaten, the best home run of ay team, but it was Tuesday’s results that proved shocking the Spanish side’s star man, Lionel Messi.
Barcelona will be joined in the last eight by Premier League sides Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham, along with Dutch outfit Ajax and Portuguese club Porto.
But it was the inclusion of Serie A side Juventus that saw the Argentina captain shocked.
Juve slipped past Atletico Madrid in Tuesday’s second leg, with Cristiano Ronaldo scoring two headers and a penalty to see the Italian club overturn a 2-0 first-leg loss and leaving the Barca star to marvel at the exploits of his former Real Madrid rival.
“Cristiano and Juventus were awesome,” he told Movistar + following Wednesday’s win over Lyon. “It was a big surprise because I thought Atletico would be stronger.
“But Juventus overcame them and Cristiano had a magical night with three goals.”
Messi and Barcelona must now wait until Friday’s draw to see who they will face in the quarter-finals, but the 31-year-old doesn’t see a preferred opponent in the last eight.
“All rivals are difficult, we can’t choose,” he said. “We have to wait for the draw and see who will be our rival.
“City, Juventus, Ajax, all are really good. Liverpool have offensive success and they showed at Munich. All of them will be complicated.”
Messi’s star showing saw his club through against Lyon, but the forward remained somewhat unhappy to have seen the Spanish giants lapse in the match after seemingly taking control.
A penalty from the Argentine coupled with Philippe Coutinho ‘s first goal for the club since January had the Spanish outfit in control of Wednesday’s contest. But a 58th minute strike from Lucas Tousart left Barcelona with a few moments of concern before Messi struck again 20 minutes later to put the tie to bed.
“We suffered during a little time, it was unnecessary, because we complicated ourselves the match in a set play game when they haven’t done nothing until this moment,” he said. “Then we scored 3-1 and we were calm again and we found more space to counter attack.
“We look for a victory since the beginning of the match and after the first goal we were more relaxed with the ball and we showed our best version.”
Late goals from Gerard Pique and Ousmane Dembele added some gloss to the scoreline for Barcelona, who will return to the pitch on Sunday with a Liga match against Real Betis.