Champions League: Liverpool, Barca Storm into Quarterfinals

Sadio Mane scored twice to propel Liverpool into the Champions League quarterfinals on Wednesday after an emphatic 3-1 win at Bayern Munich.

Guilty of missing chances in the goalless first leg at Anfield three weeks ago through suspension, Mane’s opened the scoring with an excellent turn and finish from Virgil van Dijk’s long pass led to leave the Allianz Arena stunned.

Swaggering Dutch centre-back Van Dijk then headed last season’s runners-up Liverpool into a 2-1 lead from a Milner corner on 69 minutes after Joel Matip’s own goal had handed Bayern a first-half equaliser.

Mane made absolutely sure of Liverpool’s place in the quarterfinal draw by nodding in six minutes from time following Mo Salah’s exquisite cross.

Liverpool’s 3-1 aggregate victory means they join Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City and Manchester United in the quarterfinals, completing a clean sweep of English sides reaching the last eight for the first time since 2008/09.

It is a however a grim picture in Germany as Bayern’s exit leaves no Bundesliga club in the quarters for the first time since 2005/06, as Borussia Dortmund and Schalke also bowed out in the last 16 – to Tottenham and Man City respectively.

This is the first time since 2011 that Bayern have failed to make the quarterfinals.

Elsewhere, Lionel Messi scored twice and set up two more as Barcelona beat Lyon 5-1 to reach the Champions League quarterfinals.

Messi inspired Barca yet again

After Cristiano Ronaldo’s treble on Tuesday for Juventus sent Atletico Madrid packing in Turin, Messi delivered his own symphony at the Camp Nou, where Lyon were outplayed save for a very brief period in the second half when they threatened a comeback in this last-16 tie.

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 halftime.

Yet Lucas Tousart’s volley left Lyon one goal away from putting Barcelona out, only for Messi to take charge. He scored once more, taking the Lyon defence to the cleaners before firing in low with his right foot.

The talismanic no 10 then teed up Gerard Pique and Ousmane Dembele to complete the victory.

Barca enter 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.

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