TIL Desk Sports/ Barcelona captain Lionel Messi was showered with praise by his coach Ernesto Valverde and losing manager Bruno Genesio after a headline performance in his side’s 5-1 win over Olympique Lyonnais to reach the Champions League quarter-finals.
Messi opened the scoring at the Nou Camp with an audacious chipped penalty then restored control in the tie after Lyon had pulled a goal back to make it 2-1, hitting a decisive third goal after a trademark dazzling run to shake off four defenders.
The Argentine, who at the start of the season promised to “do everything to bring that beautiful trophy back to the Nou Camp” tore through Lyon’s back line twice more to tee up further goals for Gerard Pique and Ousmane Dembele.
“We are all psyched up for the Champions League and so is Leo. He produced an outstanding performance tonight, he was incredible,” Barca coach Ernesto Valverde told reporters. Lyon coach Genesio added: “Tonight Messi was in Champions League mode. He’s a genius and can do things that nobody else can. Sometimes he is just unstoppable.”