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CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Barcelona bandwagon rolls on as Messi hits five

Lionel Messi hit five as Barcelona cruised into the quarter finals of the Champions League with a crushing 7-1 demolition of Bayer Leverkusen, for a staggering 10-2 aggregate success. The facts speak for themselves. Barca are now unbeaten in their last 14 Champions League games, scored in their last 29 an amazing total of 77 goals whilst Messi has found the back of the net 33 times in his last 30 Champions League starts.

For their part Leverkusen have now gone twelve games since an away success in this competition and kept only six clean sheets in 44 games.

The German's held out for 25 minutes until Messi opened the scoring and even at the break only had a two goal deficit as Tello doubled the Spaniards advantage.

But a devastating spell of four goals in thirteen minutes just after the restart really emphasised the gulf in class between these two teams.

Messi added three more and Tello joined in the scoring spree as 4,000 Leverkusen fans were left wishing for the final whistle as even damage limitation looked beyond their team.

With 28 minutes left it seemed inevitable Barca would add to their tally and five minutes from time Messi became the first person in Champions League history to score five goals in a game.

Tello then had a chance to complete his hat-trick but shot straight at shell-shocked keeper Leno.

Leverkusen did get on the scoresheet in the final minute as substitute Bellarabi hammered home from distance.

Referee: Svein Oddvar Moen (NOR)

Venue: Camp Nou

Attendance: 75,632

Barcelona scorers: Messi 25, 42, 49, 58 Tello 55, 62 Leverkusen scorers: Bellarabi 90

Yellow cards: Castro (BAY), Rolfes (BAY)

TRIBAL ASKS: Are Barcelona really ten points behind Real Madrid in La Liga?

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Dave Williams

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