Lionel Messi hails Cristiano Ronaldo’s ‘magical night’

Reuters  Phil Noble

Reuters Phil Noble

Barcelona is seeking its sixth ever UEFA Champions League title and first since the 2014-15 campaign.

After applying a lot of attacking pressure from the off, Barcelona found the breakthrough via a penalty converted by Lionel Messi, after Luis Suarez was adjudged to have been tackled unfairly in the area by Jason Denayer.

However, the 21-year-old had been a key player in recent months and came off the bench to score Barcelona's final goal in their 5-1 Champions League win over Lyon on Wednesday night.

There was a hard spell for Barça at 2-1 in the second half before Lionel Messi - who scored two and made two - wrapped things up for the home side.

"Barca head coach Valverde was pleased with Coutinho post-match amid his struggles this season".

His side were in a more vulnerable position as a score draw would have sent them out, and they began the game as if they meant business, with Messi firing an early shot which Lopes had to beat away for a corner.

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"We played a great first half, then from a moment's distraction it was 2-1 and we had five or 10 delicate minutes", said Barca striker Suarez.

"Yesterday, Cristiano and Juventus impressed me. I thought Atletico would be stronger, but Juve walked all over them and Cristiano had a magical night", Messi said of his longtime rival to the claim of being the world's best player. 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.

Messi opened the scoring with an audacious panenka penalty in the 18th minute, before striking a second time in the 78th minute.

Lyon coach Bruno Genesio added: "Tonight Messi was in Champions League mode".

"We have to prepare ourselves for a tough challenge".

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