Leo Messi lethal in Last 16 deciders
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Leo Messi is the hardest man to stop in football, and Champions League knockout games bring out the very best in him. And where he particularly excels is in Last 16 games, and even more so in the second legs at Camp Nou. Precisely the scenario for this Saturday’s 9.00pm CEST kick-off against Napoli.
12 wins and 19 goals
Barça have not gone out at this stage of the competition since losing to Liverpool in 2007. They have played twelve editions since then, and as they have always won their first round group, they have always played the return leg at home.
And not only have Barça always advanced, but they have always done so by winning the second leg – without once needing to rely on the away goals rule or penalties.
And Messi has had a lot to do with that. Only once since 2009 (against Manchester City in 2015) has he failed to score in the second leg, and he’s scored twice on five occasions, and a staggering FIVE times against Bayer Leverkusen in 2012. That’s 19 goals in 12 games against some of the strongest teams in Europe!
Messi’s Champions League last 16 second legs
2006: v Chelsea (1-1) Ronaldinho (Barça qualified 3-2 on aggregate)
2007: @ Liverpool (1-0) Guðjohnsen (Liverpool qualified on away goals)
2008: v Celtic (1-0) Xavi (Barça qualified 4-2 on aggregate)
2009: v Lyon (5-2) Henri 2, Messi, Eto’o, Keita (Barça qualified 6-3 on aggregate)
2010: v Stuttgart (4-0) Messi 2, Pedro, Bojan (Barça qualified 5-1 on aggregate)
2011: v Arsenal (3-1) Messi 2, Xavi (Barça qualified 4-3 on aggregate)
2012: v Bayer Leverkusen (7-1) Messi 5, Tello 2 (Barça qualified 10-2 on aggregate)
2013: v Milan (4-0) Messi 2, Villa, Alba (Barça qualified 4-2 on aggregate)
2014: v Manchester City (2-1) Messi, Alves (Barça qualified 4-1 on aggregate)
2015: v Manchester City (1-0) Rakitic (Barça qualified 3-1 on aggregate)
2016: v Arsenal (3-1) Neymar, Suárez, Messi (Barça qualified 5-1 on aggregate)
2017: v Paris Saint-Germain (6-1) Suárez, OG, Messi, Neymar 2, Roberto (Barça qualified 6-5 on aggregate)
2018: v Chelsea (3-0) Messi 2, Dembélé (Barça qualified 4-1 on aggregate)
2019: v Lyon (5-1) Messi 2, Coutinho, Piqué, Dembélé (Barça qualified 5-1 on aggregate)
2020: v Napoli ... TBC?
𝗠𝗲𝘀𝘀𝗶 round of 16 goals 🤤— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) August 4, 2020
𝗘𝗩𝗘𝗥𝗬 single one 🥰#UCL pic.twitter.com/AFSo0ZZtvt
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