Lionel Messi scored a brace within 3 minutes to show his former coach Pep Guardiola that his merit remains undiminished. The Argentine superstar led his side to a 3-0 win at Nou Camp in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League semifinal on Wednesday.
Earlier, Guardiola, who has traveled to Munich after winning 14 titles in 4 years with Barcelona, pointed out that Messi was “too good.” His comments were justified as his 3 back and man-marking based strategy failed to contain the Mercurial Barca forward. Brazilian striker Neymar hammered the last nail in the coffin at injury time to throw Bayern Munich at the verge of exit.
But after few minutes of jitters, Luis Enrique’s men took control of the game and essayed a string of moves to rattle Bayern defense. Custodian Neuer kept the citadel intact by pulling off a number of saves. Messi finally drew first blood in the 77th minute after holding a lose ball down the right and evading a Bayern defender through body-fiend to smack at the far corner of the net with his left foot.
The second one followed as he zipped past defender Boateng, turned and crated space in the Bayern box to slot home with his clinical touch. The goal took Messi’s tally in Champions League to an all-time highest record of 77, one goal ahead of Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo. Messi has 4 Ballon d’Or titles under his belt.
Neymar’s third goal was created by only the Argentine Maestro. Guardiola’s men now face a daunting task of beating the Catalans by a 4-goal margin at home to make it to the finals. The Spanish giants are eying another Champions League crown after having almost secured a place in the finals.
“I hope my best night is yet to come, but this was a good night for sure,” Barcelona’s boss Luis Enrique said.