Wednesday, March 07, 2012
Lionel Messi scores five goals as Barcelona beat Leverkusen 7-1
Messi, the current World Player of the Year, became the first player to score five goals in a Champions League match with the holders handing out one of the biggest knockout wins in the competition's history.
After Leverkusen lost last month's first leg 1-3 at home, the Bundesliga side's qualification seemed unlikely - and that small chance was effectively ended when Messi sped on to Xavi's lofted pass and scooped the ball over Bernd Leno in the 25th minute.
Messi added a second with a trademark run across the defence and low shot three minutes before halftime and completed his hat-trick with another stunning chip, this time with his right foot, four minutes after the break.
Substitute Cristian Tello netted twice either side of Messi's fourth goal, which came after Leno spilled the ball at his feet, and the Argentine midfielder bagged his fifth goal with a powerful strike six minutes from time before Leverkusen substitute Karim Bellarabi scored an added-time goal.