Lionel Messi showed off his genius once again on Saturday during Barcelona’s Champions League last-16 second leg against Napoli at the Camp Nou.
The Argentina international made it 2-0 to Barcelona on the night, and 3-1 on aggregate, with another brilliant individual goal to put his team in charge of the tie.
Messi picked up the ball on the right, went past three defenders, slipped in the penalty area but picked himself up and curled the ball past goalkeeper David Ospina.
The captain thought he had added his second of the match seven minutes later. Messi chested a brilliant pass down from Frenkie de Jong and finished smartly but saw his effort ruled out by VAR for a handball in the build-up.
Barcelona had opened the scoring on 10 minutes when center-back Clement Lenglet headed home a corner in from the left by Ivan Rakitic.
Lenglet was only passed fit for the game on Friday after a groin injury and certainly looked in great shape when he headed Barca in front early on.
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Fans Go Wild for Messi
Messi is no stranger to spectacular goals, but his latest effort still drew plenty of praise from supporters and commentators alike:
Barcelona started the tie level at 1-1 after the first leg and saw the visitors hit the crossbar in the opening minutes through Dries Mertens. Yet goals from Lenglet and Messi calmed any nerves the hosts may have had.
Another Record for Messi
Messi’s goal was his first against Napoli and means he has now scored against 35 different teams in the Champions League which is a new record.
The goal also means that Messi has also now scored 20 times in his last 12 Champions League matches at the Camp Nou, according to UEFA.
Yet there was concern about Messi just before half-time. The captain needed treatment after winning a penalty following a foul by Kalidou Koulibaly. Messi was able to continue, while Luis Suarez netted the spot-kick to make it 3-0 on the night to Barcelona.
Lorenzo Insigne pulled one back for Napoli but it was to prove only a consolation for the Serie A side. Barcelona ran out 4-2 aggregate winners to book their place in the quarter-finals and a tie against Bayern Munich.