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'King Leo' - Fans react to Lionel Messi's heroic performance

14 March 2019

The last-16 tie between Barca and Lyon was evenly poised following last month's goalless draw in France.

Barca, who are in the quest for a quadruple, will be without Ousmane Dembele, but will have Lionel Messi available for the clash.

Lucas Tousart's effort pulled Lyon back into the tie briefly and Messi, who scored Barca's third and then created goals for Gerard Pique and Ousmane Dembele, admitted the Catalans nearly let things get away from them. The Argentine opened scoring during the 17th minute of the contest, when he fooled Lyon goalkeeper Anthony Lopes with a handsome Panenka penalty kick.

"We're relaxed and what we have to prepare for is the toughest test possible, which is what's coming now in the final stage of the season". "We spent minutes of suffering, [but] with 3-1 everything calmed down".

Messi opened the scoring with a penalty won by strike partner Luis Suarez, who appeared to step on Lyon's Denayer before falling to the ground in the box.

"Luckily we then got the third goal".

Messi was asked about who he wants in tomorrow's quarter final draw and stressed the quality of the teams, giving props to Ajax for their sensational win over holders Real Madrid.

Doubts over Coutinho's future at Camp Nou have emerged despite only joining Barca from Liverpool in €142million deal in January 2018 due to his inconsistent displays. "I am [just] happy with my performance today". "He produced an outstanding performance tonight, he was incredible", Barca coach Ernesto Valverde told reporters.

Lyon's Lopes had to be taken off injured later in the first half, leaving the field in tears after taking a blow to the face, with Mathieu Gorgelin replacing him and making his Champions League debut.

"All of the opponents are complicated", Messi added.

'King Leo' - Fans react to Lionel Messi's heroic performance