Barcelona is all set-up for a Champions League quarter-final battle with Bayern Munich after beating Napoli at the Nou Camp as Lionel Messi stars.
Both teams tied 1-1 after the first leg in February, Dries Mertens set the tone for an eventful first half as he struck the post after 90 seconds – but Barcelona positioned an eventful breakthrough when Clement Lenglet headed in Ivan Rakitic’s corner after 10 minutes.
Messi doubled his side’s advantage in style as he wriggled his way past three defenders, before messaging a well crafted shot between another two Napoli players and into the far side of David Ospina’s net.
The Barcelona captain had jubilated that he would add to his tally of 115 Champions League goals in 142 games just seven minutes later, but a lengthy video assistant referee review deemed he had handled the ball in controlling Frenkie de Jong’s pass.
Although another VAR review awarded Barcelona a penalty in first-half injury time after Kalidou Koulibaly felled Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez stepped up to net his 25th Champions League goal.
Napoli had the final decision to make at the end of the first half, but, as Rakitic conceded a penalty for a foul on Mertens and Lorenzo Insigne converted to round it up to 3-1 at the interval.
In a significantly quieter second period, Insigne’s header early in the half failed to test Marc-Andre ter Stegen as Napoli chased a lifeline, while Kostas Manolas was at full stretch to deny Suarez the chance to put Barcelona out of sight.
Napoli substitute Arkadiusz Milik was on the pitch for less than two minutes when he headed past Ter Stegen with time running out for the visitors, but the Poland striker’s goal was ruled out for offside.
German champions Bayern Munich will meet Barca in the last eight after downing Chelsea 4-1 on Saturday to complete a 7-1 aggregate victory.
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