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UEFA Champions League
March 7, 2012
• Camp Nou, Barcelona
Referee: S. Moen
• Attendance: 75632
Barcelona win Aggregate 10 - 2
FULL-TIME: Barcelona 7-1 Bayer Leverkusen. Where to start... Messi becomes the first player to score five in a single game in the Champions League as Barca annihilate Leverkusen at Camp Nou. Unsurprisingly the 7-1 win means that Barcelona progress at Leverkusen's expense, with the draw for the quarter-finals next Friday. Thanks for joining me for what has been a record-breaking performance from the unbelievable Messi. Normally Cristian Tello's debut brace would've been enough to steal the limelight, but no! A brilliant performance from a brilliant side. Good night everyone!
Assist Simon Rolfes
Goal Karim Bellarabi
Now that is quite a consolation goal!!! 7-1. Leverkusen substitute Karim Bellarabi curling home from the left to create a memory he will remember. A sublime finish.
Brilliant defending from Mascherano up the other end to stop Kiessling from having a chance on goal, the Argentine defender clearing the ball for a corner with the Leverkusen striker lurking behind him.
Barcelona as a team meanwhile, have scored 84 in 21 games at Camp Nou this evening. That's a nice average of 4 a game.
Messi becomes the first ever player to score five goals in a single Champions League game. I feel honoured to have witnessed it.
Assist Seydou Keita
WORDS CANNOT DESCRIBE THIS MAN!!! Messi has scored his fifth of the evening to make it 7-0. I'm running out of superlatives in this commentary alone. Another finish of the highest order from Lionel Messi, curling the ball into the corner of the net from 20 yards out. Absolutely brilliant from the Argentine.
Leverkusen's 4000 travelling fans high up in the Gods remain in good voice despite witnessing their team be absolutely dominated this evening. Hats off to them.
Keita heads narrowly wide from Fabregas' cross. Barcelona are not taking their foot off the gas quite yet.
If Barcelona *hold out* for the remaining ten minutes or so, it will take them to 50 games unbeaten at Camp Nou. Do you reckon they'll do it?
Schwaab does well to put the ball behind for a corner as Tello looks to break into the area. Barca take it short, and then proceed to toy with the ball on the edge of the area for what seems like an eternity before Pedro blasts the ball across goal, with Keita inches from getting on the end of it.
Quite a Champions League debut for Cristian Tello tonight. He scored 2 goals within 9 minutes of entering the fray.
Tello produces a fabulous touch to kill the ball dead on the left but his subsequent cross is disappointing as it goes straight to a Leverkusen player.
Barcelona's players are queuing up on the edge of the Leverkusen area. They all want in on the goalscoring act this evening. At this rate, I wouldn't bet against a couple of them doing so.
Messi's four goals tonight make him the first player to score four goals on more than one occasion in this competition, after he first did it against Arsenal in 2010.
Rolfes fires a fine ball over the Barcelona defence to Schurrle but his cross into the area is poor and easily cleared by Pique.
Messi tries to feed the ball through to Pedro, who is tripped by Schwaab and it looks like a certain free-kick for Barca. The linesman has correctly flagged for offside against Pedro though, so the ball actually changes hands, with Leverkusen gaining possession. A tight call from the official, but the correct one.
Alves whips a good ball into the area that Leno does well to gather under pressure from Pedro and Tello. Decent play from the youngster but it is certainly not going to be a night to remember having conceded six already.
Leverkusen look broken out there on the pitch at Camp Nou. The score is now 9-1 on aggregate! There is no way back for the Germans. Can you attempt damage limitation at 6-0 down?
Assist Daniel Alves
THE SUBSTITUTE HAS SCORED ANOTHER!! 6-0 to Barcelona. Tello scores again, after Dani Alves shifts the ball from right to left, and the youngster fires an effort on target that Leno should perhaps do better with.
It feels like Barcelona have an extra man in this one. But I've checked the teamsheet, and they definitely don't. Their movement is just so good. There could easily be a few more goals in this one.
MESSI GETS HIS FOURTH!! 5-0 Barcelona. Leno looks to have pushed the ball to safety but Messi has other ideas, finding the back of the net from an absurd angle. Barcelona are looking unstoppable in this second half. They have really shifted up a gear or two since half-time.
Assist Cesc Fàbregas
4-0!!! Tello takes only a couple of minutes to get his name on the scoresheet. The lightning-quick La Masia product races onto Fabregas' pass before slotting the ball confidently past Leno. You begin to feel sorry for the Leverkusen keeper.
Eren Deridyok nearly does an 'anything you can do I can do better', but his fantastic lobbed attempt from the angle goes just wide for Leverkusen. Very nearly a goal for the away side there.
Andrés Iniesta Luján
Barcelona make a couple of substitutions as they look to have secured a place in the quarter-finals now that they are 6-1 up on aggregate. Cristian Tello replaces Iniesta, while Seydou Keita comes on for Xavi.
Messi needs just nine more goals to be crowned Barca's all-time top goalscorer. And he is still just 24!
Assist Cesc Fàbregas
3-0 Barcelona!!!! That man Lionel Messi has just concluded his hat-trick with another delightful lob. It is getting to the point where he should probably get copyright for that finish. Credit to Xavi for the assist, a fabulous pass. That's Messi's 8th hat-trick of the season. Unbelievable.
Nearly a third. Fabregas bursts into the penalty to latch on to Messi's backheel, but instead of shooting the former Arsenal man looks to play it to Iniesta, and the pass is intercepted. That was a good chance for Barcelona.
Sloppy start to the second half from both sides. Iniesta just failed to spot a marvellous run from Dani Alves on the right. He would have been clean through.
The teams are out at Camp Nou for the second half of this match.
HALF-TIME: Barcelona 2-0 Bayer Leverkusen. It has been a stroll in the park for the home side, as Leverkusen have offered very little going forward. Lionel Messi has got both of Barcelona's goals, and both of them were brilliant. With the aggregate score at 5-1 to Barcelona, it looks like Leverkusen are heading out of this season's Champions League. Join me in ten minutes for the second half of this entertaining tie.
Yellow Card Gonzalo Castro
We are into injury time at the end of the first half here.
Leno produces a brilliant double save from Fabregas and Iniesta to keep the score at 2-0, after Messi had produced a wonderful round-the-corner pass to set Fabregas free.
Assist Andrés Iniesta Luján
WOW!!! 2-0 Barcelona. Messi gets another, with a goal that is just as good as his first. Mascherano breaks from defence, moves the ball on to Iniesta, who then finds Messi. There is still alot to do however, but Messi appears to do it with ease, drifting past three challenges before thumping the ball home.
The home side continue to threaten, with Iniesta looking dangerous every time he touches the ball. On this occasion his attempted pass to Messi is dealt with but you get the feeling Barcelona are going to score more in this one.
Leverkusen nearly create a goalscoring opportunity there, but a crucial poke from Pique sends the ball back to Valdes as Eren Derdiyok looks to take advantage of some sloppy defending.
Bender lifts a threatening ball into the area from the left-hand side but Valdes does well to race out from his goal and pluck the ball from the air.
Barca are on a 49-match unbeaten streak at Camp Nou in all competitions - a run that stretches back to September 2010. It look likes they might reach the half century mark tonight.
Xavi strikes a shot wide after another good counter attack from Barcelona. Iniesta is at the heart of the move once again, as Barcelona really start to control this tie.
Leverkusen are lucky there as the linesman incorrectly flags Pedro offside after the attacker looked to be one-on-one with Leno.
APOEL Nicosia have evened things up in tonight's other Champions League tie, taking a 1-0 lead at home to make it 1-1 on aggregate against Lyon. That would be a shock if they were to progress at Lyon's expense.
Adriano plays a fine crossfield ball to Messi, who charges into the Leverkusen penalty area, but the Argentine is eventually crowded out by a swarm of Leverkusen defenders.
I would advise Leverkusen's players not to try and get Messi's shirt after this game. A number of them were fined by the German club's Sporting Director last time round as they argued over who would have possession of the Argentine's shirt.
Seconds before that goal Leverkusen had actually come close to having a shot on goal after Renato Augusto had broken well down the right. Barcelona's counter attack started and ended in the space of about ten seconds though. How do you stop that?!
That's his eighth in the Champions League this season, and his 44th in all competitions. Unbelievable statistics.
HOW DO YOU STOP LIONEL MESSI?!! The Argentine has given his side a 1-0 lead here, with a quite sumptuous chip over Leno from inside the area. Inch perfect finish. He does remarkably well to stay onside to get onto the through ball too.
Leverkusen goalkeeper Leno is alert to push the free-kick away, after the unmarked Gerard Pique had nodded it towards goal. Good save.
Yet another foul on Iniesta. This time Castro is the offender, chopping the Spanish international wide on the left. Can Barcelona conjure up some magic from this free-kick?
Only Barcelona could field a 5ft8in centre-back. Saying that, Mascherano has defied his critics by adapting to that role nicely since moving to Camp Nou.
Don't forget guys, you can get in touch with me on twitter @charliefscott. I would love to hear your views or predictions on this clash.
The away side nearly fashion a chance but Kiessling's eventual strike is blocked on the edge of the area by Javier Mascherano. They probably should have played the ball out to Lars Bender there, he was in acres of space on the left!
Barcelona look confident at the moment, with Leverkusen's strikers feeding on scraps so far in this one.
Stefan Kiessling looks wonderfully German with his flowing blonde locks and bright blue eyes. Will the baby-faced assassin have an impact tonight?
No matter how many times I watch this Barcelona side, their intensity continues to amaze me. Within seconds of surrendering possession, at least one player is always hassling the opposition to try and retrieve it.
That's a lovely move from Barcelona, moving the ball from left to right in seconds through Pedro and Messi. The ball eventually reaches the overlapping Dani Alves but his pullback is weak and easily dealt with by the Leverkusen defence. A glimpse of Barcelona's quality there.
Xavi takes this one, but his curling strike flies harmlessly over the bar.
Yellow Card Simon Rolfes
Simon Rolfes is shown a yellow card for a cynical block on Andres Iniesta 30 yards from goal. Another free-kick in a dangerous area for the home side.
And I had been in the process of writing that this game needs something to spark it into life. Lionel Messi has provided that spark.
Great save by Leno!!! The Leverkusen keeper comes out to block Lionel Messi's effort from an angle before Castro puts in a fantastic block to deny Fabregas from the follow-up.
Leverkusen have won their last 3 games, including a morale-boosting victory over rivals Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga at the weekend, so go into this game full of confidence. They do need goals tonight though.
That amounts to nothing, and Cesc Fabregas is then flagged for offside, handing possession back to the away side.
Xavi's effort clips the top of the wall however, and flies out for a corner.
Barca have a free-kick 25 yards out on the left...
Barcelona's hero in the first leg Alexis Sanchez misses out this evening after picking up an injury. He's been in marvellous form this season the Chilean, but I suppose Pedro, a goalscorer in last season's final, is not a bad replacement!
Dani Alves gives the ball away but then recovers well, goes on a little dash across his own area, before shifting the ball on to Adriano. Confident play from the Brazilian right-back.
A slow start to this game, with neither side looking to force the issue so far.
Barcelona are so far behind Real Madrid in La Liga now that you feel they may even be prioritising the Champions League. Their starting eleven seems to suggest this, considering they are 3-1 up, and at home in this leg.
And we are off! Leverkusen get the game underway...
For those of you out there who might be interested, my prediction for this game is a comfortable win for Barca, with a final score of 3-0, and Fabregas to be the first goalscorer.
The teams are just making their way out on to the pitch at Camp Nou, and we are just minutes away from kick-off here.
Don't forget you can tweet your views to me throughout the game, by sending messages to @charliefscott. I'll post the most entertaining and insightful tweets on to this commentary!
Meanwhile, the German side look to go for broke, naming two strikers in their side, after fielding just one for their home leg that they lost convincingly 3-1. They welcome back Swiss striker Eren Derdiyok who has been out for a month with a foot injury he suffered after stepping on some broken glass in his bathroom. There's an unusual one for you.
Barcelona name a strong starting eleven for this match, although it might be worth noting that should things start to go wrong this evening, there is a definite lack of experience on their bench.
Subs: Giefer, Oczipka, Friedrich, Ortega, Zenga, Bellarabi, Schurrle
Bayer Leverkusen (4-4-2): Leno; Schwaab, Reinartz, Toprak, Kadlec; Renato Augusto, Bender, Rolfes, Castro; Kiessling, Derdiyok
Subs: Pinto, Muniesa, Bartra, Keita, Sergi Roberto, Tello, Cuenca
The line ups are out. Barcelona (4-3-3): Valdes; Alves, Pique, Mascherano, Adriano; Xavi, Busquets, Iniesta; Pedro, Messi, Cesc
Hello and welcome to Goal.com's coverage of this evening's Champions League clash between Barcelona and Bayer Leverkusen at Camp Nou. I'm Charlie Scott and I'll be guiding you through tonight's action. Barcelona are heavy favourites to progress to the quarter finals after strolling to a 3-1 lead in the first leg in Germany three weeks ago.
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