Sports

Messi masterclass: Lionel Messi fires brace as Barcelona reach Champions League semis

Messi masterclass: Lionel Messi fires brace as Barcelona reach Champions League semis

MESSI's two goals bring him to 10 this season in the Champions League, making him the top scorer. United were brilliant for eight minutes and could have been ahead within 30 seconds as Rashford raced onto a curving Paul Pogba pass and toed away a shot, which Marc-Andre ter Stegen bravely left to graze his own crossbar.

United were comprehensively outclassed at the Nou Camp as they crashed out of the Champions League at the quarter-final stage, with Barcelona's 3-0 win on the night sealing a 4-0 aggregate triumph.

Manchester United will now switch their attentions back towards Premier League affairs and their trip to Everton on Sunday afternoon.

In the first two minutes at the Camp Nou, United did more than they had in 90 minutes at Old Trafford.

Messi opened the scoring in the 16th minute with a sublime effort, twisting and turning and leaving United bodies in his wake before picking out the bottom corner from the most slender of angles.

They were in command after the mercurial Argentine master put them 2-0 up, although they had to ride their luck a bit in the opening exchanges as United threatened a stirring comeback. Messi showed his quality.

Here are some essential Opta facts as we get ever closer to finding out who will progress to the last four.

More news: Percent of Accountants Say Tax Cuts Helped Small Businesses

"If we want to get back to Man Utd's true level, true traditions, we have to challenge Barcelona".

He explained: "You can't make errors in these games".

"We had five uncomfortable minutes because they came out strong", said Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde.

"Messi always appears", he told Movistar.

"You have to lift them (the players)".

Ronaldo, meanwhile, shook his head as he walked off the field, while the Ajax players and staff celebrated with their fans long after the final whistle following a 2-1 win in Turin that sealed the Dutch side's first semi-final appearance since 1997.

Former Liverpool star Philippe Coutinho rubbed salt into the Red Devils' wounds when he scored a signature curled-shot from outside of the box, securing his side's place in the semi-finals.