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He had a magical night: Messi hails Ronaldo's Champions League hat-trick

14 March 2019

FC Barcelona hammered Ligue 1 outfit Olympique Lyon 5-1 to advance to the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals.

Messi's latest double takes his overall record for the season across all competitions to 36 goals in 35 appearances for Barca.

The Spanish champions jumped into an early lead in a series that was 0-0 after the first leg, when Messi converted a VAR-reviewed penalty with a cool chip.

Suarez then rounded Lyon goalkeeper Anthony Lopes to lay on a flawless pass for the unmarked Philippe Coutinho to nudge into an open net and double Barca's lead, although Lyon hauled themselves back into contention with a second-half strike from Lucas Tousart.

"The big stars add up to a lot", said Pique.

Messi bagged a brace, including a cheeky panenka penalty, and two assists as he bossed the game in typical fashion.

Image PA
Image PA

Marca reported that Suarez said in an interview with Movistar Plus: "I think I accidentally stepped on him (Denayer) and I think that unbalanced me a little".

The first clip shows him darting out to the right wing to prevent an attack before the ball ricochets off him and almost into the path of Luis Suarez. Instead, he just followed the ball and let it run through Marcelo's legs, at which point - we can safely assume - his soul went somewhere, anywhere, but not his body. We were able to recover the ball higher, posed problems and reduced the score.

The pair are level for Champions League hat-tricks with eight apiece, but it is significant that four of Ronaldo's have come in the knockout stages compared to only two of Messi's. "He is one of the best players of all time, a genius".

A worrying head injury to goalkeeper Anthony Lopes forced the visitors into a substitution just before halftime, with Mathieu Gorgelin taking over between the sticks.

Genesio said: "Antho (Lopes) had lost consciousness at the time but did not want to go out".

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He had a magical night: Messi hails Ronaldo's Champions League hat-trick