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Messi fires Barcelona into quarter-finals, Bordeaux go through

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-03-17

French champions Bordeaux join Lyon in the Champions League quarter-finals, as Laurent Blanc’s side defeated Olympiakos (2-1). Lionel Messi (photo) scored twice against German VfB Stuttgart (4-0) to fire Barca into the last eight.

REUTERS - Girondins Bordeaux reached the Champions League quarter-finals on Wednesday, though they made things hard for themselves in a 2-1 home win against Olympiakos Piraeus that gave them a 3-1 aggregate victory.

Bordeaux had the game firmly in hand after Yoann Gourcuff scored a fifth-minute opener with a whipped free kick and Olympiakos striker Matt Derbyshire was sent off on the hour.

However, the Greek side, who lost 1-0 at home in the first leg, levelled in the 65th thanks to a stunning volley by substitute Kostas Mitroglou, three minutes before Bordeaux captain Alou Diarra was also sent off.
 
Morocco striker Marouane Chamakh put the tie to bed two minutes from time and Bordeaux joined Olympique Lyon in the last eight as two French teams qualified for the quarter-finals of the competition for the first time since 2004.
 
Lionel Messi's brilliance sent holders Barcelona through to the Champions League quarter-finals with a 4-0 win over VfB Stuttgart on Wednesday.
 
Fresh from a hat-trick in La Liga, the Argentina forward set Barca on their way with a 13th-minute stunner, was instrumental in Pedro's second goal and scored again himself before a late strike from substitute Bojan Krkic sealed a 5-1 aggregate win.
 
Barca's victory sent them through to the last eight for a third successive season and kept Spanish hopes alive after the elimination of La Liga sides Real Madrid and Sevilla.
 
Coach Pep Guardiola left Zlatan Ibrahimovic out of his starting line-up at the Nou Camp, opting to field a forward three of Messi, Thierry Henry and Pedro.
 
Henry, making a rare start, had the first effort on goal in the second minute, the France captain running on to a Messi through ball and testing Lehmann with a powerful strike.
 
The champions looked edgy in the early stages but Messi settled their nerves with a trademark run and finish.
 
After collecting the ball just inside the visitors' half, he raced toward the retreating Stuttgart defence before unleashing a left-foot shot that fizzed past goalkeeper Jens Lehmann high into the net.
 
The FIFA World Player of the Year turned creator nine minutes later. A superbly weighted pass sent Yaya Toure clear on the left and forward Pedro timed his run to perfection to sweep home the Ivory Coast midfielder's low cross.
 
More smart work from Messi set up Toure in the 55th but his low drive flew just wide of Lehmann's right-hand post.
 
Messi beat Lehmann again with a low strike from the edge of the area on the hour to effectively end Stuttgart's hopes, his eighth goal in four matches in all competitions.
 
As Barca asserted their dominance, a rampant Messi almost completed his hat-trick with a header in the 68th but Lehmann saved before Krkic wrapped things up, a minute after replacing Andres Iniesta.

 

Date created : 2010-03-18

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