Lionel Messi single-handily destroyed Bayer Leverkusen 7-1 at the Nou Camp. Messi was at his mesmerizing best, scoring five goals as Barca showed the rest of Europe that they will not give up their Champions League trophy without a fight.
Messi became the first man to score four goals in a game twice in the Champions League and then he set a new record, becoming the first player to score five goals in a game, when he scored his fifth with six minutes to go.
What was remarkable about Messi’s performance was the quality of his goals. His first came when Xavi’s lofted pass sent Messi free and he nonchalantly chipped Leno it the Bayer goal. His third was similar in that he chipped Leno again, but this time with his right foot!
Messi is now just seven goals behind Barcelona’s all-time top scorer César Rodríguez and considering that he is only 24, he will set records that will never be broken.
In the night’s other game, APOEL held their nerve in a penalty shoot-out to shock Lyon and move into the Champions League quarter-finals. .
Trailing 1-0 after the first match, APOEL were on level terms within nine minutes when Gustavo Manduca scored to level the aggregate score. Urged on by their passionate supporters, the hosts pushed for a second but neither they nor their opponents were able to find it, sending the tie into extra time.
Although Manduca then collected a second yellow card, Lyon were not able to take advantage of their man advantage and APOEL goalkeeper Dionisios Chiotis saved penalties from Alexandre Lacazette and Michel Bastos in the shoot-out to make history as APOEL became the first Cypriot side to reach the European Cup quarter-finals.