x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Champions League round-up: Messi hits 80 for the year as Barcelona fire into last-16

Lionel Messi grabbed a double to take his tally for 2012 to an incredible 80 goals and ensure Barcelona's progression to the Champions League knockout stage, while Shakhtar Donetsk's 5-2 win over Nordsjaelland was soured by a controversial goal.

Shakhtar Donetsk forward Luiz Adriano is confronted by Nordsjaelland defender Michael Parkhurst after his controversial goal.
Shakhtar Donetsk forward Luiz Adriano is confronted by Nordsjaelland defender Michael Parkhurst after his controversial goal.

Lionel Messi fired Barcelona into the last 16 of the Champions League with two goals in their 3-0 victory at Spartak Moscow to shrug off their shock defeat to Celtic in the last round.

The Catalan side rediscovered their verve as Spartak's artificial surface proved perfect for their passing game.

Lionel Messi set up Dani Alves for a 16th-minute opener before going on to score his 79th and 80th goals of 2012 in the first half

The Argentina star is closing in on Gerd Mueller's calendar year record of 85 set in 1975.

"We couldn't allow what happened at Celtic to happen again," Messi said afterwards.

Shakhtar Donetsk beat Nordsjaelland 5-2 with a controversial Luiz Adriano hat-trick smoothing their progress from Group E.

The Brazilian seemed unaware that his team mate Willian was playing the ball back to the Danish side's keeper following an injury and pounced to score his first goal sparking jeers and whistles from the crowd and angering the incredulous home side.

The Uranian side had twice trailed Nordsjaelland, and the manner of first goal left the home side fuming.

"Their attacker didn't get it," Nicolai Stokholm, the Nordsjaelland captain, said after the match.

"I looked down at my armband, and there's something about respect - it has to be said we didn't see much of that."

Valencia were already certain of a last 16 place before they even kicked off against Bayern Munich after BATE Borisov's 2-0 loss to Lille earlier in the day.

Thomas Mueller's late equaliser for Bayern then spared the German club a nervy final night in the group stage as a draw was enough to put them out of reach of BATE.

Valencia played two thirds of the match with 10 men after Antonio Barragan was sent off for a wild tackle on David Alaba in the 33rd minute.

"If you play with an extra man for an hour and have to be content with a 1-1 draw it's not satisfactory," Bayern chief Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said.

"We have to put our foot on the gas again."

CFR Cluj kept their hopes of finishing runners up in Manchester United's group alive after a 3-1 win over Braga, Rui Pedro scoring a first half hat-trick.

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