Was there ever any point to playing this match? Barcelona held a 3-1 lead in their Champions League tie against Bayer Leverkusen, and all they needed to do to advance was not let their opponents score three goals. At the Camp Nou, the chances of that happening was something roughly equal to never ever ever.
With a competitive fixture completely out of the question, the defending champions instead put on a show, with Lionel Messi (of course) as the star. It took the hosts 25 minutes to get on the scoresheet through their Argentinian talisman, but 17 minutes later Messi made it two and then the floodgates opened in the second half. Messi got another two and Cristian Tello also grabbed a brace before the hosts seemingly got bored of the whole thing shortly after the hour mark
Barca snapped out of their funk in the 84th minute having gone a whole 22 minutes without notching, with Lionel Messi beating Bernd Leno again with a shot from outside the box. It's the first time, surprisingly, that the little magician has scored five goals in a match, but he deserved it tonight after a wonderful performance that will have left his Bundesliga opponents cursing the luck of the draw.
Barcelona wouldn't score again, but they didn't need to bother with such mundane concerns and were nice enough to allow Leverkusen a 90th minute consolation goal, which probably didn't make their guests very happy at all. Ultimately, Barca's 7-1 victory was enough to see them win 10-2 on aggregate and advance to the quarterfinals in breathtaking fashion.
How do Bayer Leverkusen feel about all of this?
Yeah, pretty much.