Barcelona eased to a 3-1 first-leg win at Champions League opponents Bayer Leverkusen last night.

After the German hosts sat deep to frustrate Barca in the first half, Alexis Sanchez's first Champions League goal, scored in the 41st minute, separated the teams at the break.

But Leverkusen came out with a much more positive outlook after the break, levelling through Michal Kadlec and then having several chances before Sanchez's second put the defending champions back in front.

Leverkusen goalkeeper Bernd Leno was then called on to make a fine save and deny Alexis a hat-trick as he sent a diving header goalwards.

But Barca got what could be a killer third goal two minutes from time, with Lionel Messi the creator and finisher as he slipped Dani Alves through and the Brazilian selflessly squared for the Argentinian to find the net.