Liverpool beat Bayern Munich 3-1 at the Allianz Arena, with two goals from Sadio Mane, and reach the Champions League quarter finals for the second successive season.
In Munich, both the side failed to create much clear opportunities and both sets of players were guilty of giving away possession too easily and too often.
However, the Reds carried more of a cutting edge and took the lead in the tie in the 26th minute when Mane displayed an exquisite touch to bring down Van Dijk’s raking pass before firing into an empty net after Manuel Neuer had rushed from his goal.
Bayern now needed at least two goals and pulled one back when Joel Matip turned into his own net from close range. However, the expectant waves of attack from the German champions never materialised after the break.
Liverpool’s Dutch defender Van Dijk all but ensured Liverpool’s spot in the last eight when he powered home James Milner’s corner. Mane capped off an excellent display when he headed in his second six minutes from time.
Barcelona 5-1 Lyon
Lionel Messi scored two goals before setting up two more for teammates as Barcelona beat Lyon 5-1 on Wednesday to reach the Champions League quarter finals for a 12th straight season.
A 0-0 draw in France in the first leg last month meant Lyon always had a chance to make Barca nervous, but Messi’s sumptuously chipped penalty and a simple finish from Philippe Coutinho looked to have finished the tie before half-time.
But Lucas Tousart’s volley left Lyon one goal away from putting Barcelona out, only for Messi to take charge. He scored once more, before teeing up Gerard Pique and Ousmane Dembele to complete the victory.
Messi now has 108 goals in the Champions League, behind Ronaldo’s imperious 124, but his latest double takes his team one step closer to the trophy they crave the most.
They go into Friday’s draw for the last eight as the sole Spanish representative, along with Juventus, Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur, Porto and Ajax.
The last time Spain only had one team left at this stage of the competition was 2010 and after Atletico Madrid’s exit to Juventus on Tuesday, Barca needed to win to avoid the first Spanish black-out in the quarter-finals since 2005.
About the Author
Jeet Ghosh is a Football Journalist, living and working in Kolkata with 7 years of experience. He has also worked with Sportzwiki and India.com. Jeet is a sports lover but has special liking for football. He follows the football league’s around the world and is somewhat partial towards Real Madrid.