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Sport

Posted at: Jan 13, 2018, 1:44 AM; last updated: Jan 13, 2018, 1:44 AM (IST)

Messi takes Barcelona into quarters

Madrid, January 12

Lionel Messi put on a masterclass in front of new recruit Philippe Coutinho as Barcelona trounced Celta Vigo 5-0 to ease into the Copa del Rey quarterfinals 6-1 on aggregate. 

Coutinho, dressed in a black shirt dotted with white stars, was in the stands at the Camp Nou for the first time since his move from Liverpool.

“The first half was extraordinary,” said Barca coach Ernesto Valverde.

Level at 1-1 after the first leg, the three-time defending champions were 4-0 up by halftime. Messi grabbed the opening two goals in the 13th and 15th minutes, both finished with a sublime first touch with his left foot, both created by Jordi Alba.

Messi then returned the favour by setting up Alba to score past the hapless Sergio Alvarez in the Celta goal before Luis Suarez made it 4-0 on the night after 30 minutes. “It’s luxury to have Leo in the side, he’s the best in history. We always look for each other to score goals,” said Alba. — AFP

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