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Leo Messi nets a double on his return to competitive play

Leo Messi nets a double on his return to competitive play / PHOTO: GERMÁN PARGA-FCB

Tata Martino was spot on when he said Leo Messi had the look of an assassin before this evening’s match at the Camp Nou against Getafe. It took the Argentinian forward only 30 minutes to score a brace and edge Barça ever closer to the next round of the Copa del Rey.

Prior to Messi’s brilliant performance, Cesc also scored a brace, and the match at the Camp Nou ended in a 4-0 for Tata Martino’s men. Before Barça can clinch passage to the quarter-finals of the competition, they will have to travel to the Spanish capital to face Atlético Madrid in La Liga.

Cesc scores the opener

Barça came out of the gates swinging, with intense and incisive play right from the starting whistle. Sergi Roberto, Iniesta and Cesc linked up just outside Getafe’s area and they caused endless problems for the goal defended by Codina. Barça’s excellent start was rewarded with a goal after only eight minutes, when Pedro crossed the ball in for Cesc, who smashed it home with a precise header.

Crosses rain into Codina's area

Alexis and Montoya’s constant incursions down the right flank resulted in a shower of crosses into Getafe’s area. Meanwhile, the visitors kept the Blaugrana to only one goal thanks, in part, to their organised defence. Luis García’s men cleared attack after attack from their area, and they were only able to create a goalscoring chance through a set piece. The teams went to the break with 1-0 on the scoreboard.

The second is scored from the penalty spot

In the first half Barça were most dangerous on the right wing, in the second Pedro led Barça’s attack. A cross from the Spanish forward from the left wing nicked the post and, minutes later, he won a penalty which was converted by Cesc Fàbregas.

Messi makes a perfect return

The Camp Nou roared when Leo Messi was subbed on for Andrés Iniesta on 61 minutes.  With Messi on the pitch, Cesc dropped his position to the midfield, where Iniesta had been playing. In half an hour the Argentinian showed the fans at the Camp Nou glimpses of his genius... and he scored two goals.

Barça third goal was scored after a beautiful pass from Busquets found Montoya in the area, the defender laid the ball off for Messi and the Argentinian slotted into the back of the net. The fourth, the last play of the match, proved to everyone that Messi still has that killer instinct that’s characterised his career. The Argentinian received the ball in the midfield from Alex Song, and raced toward Codina’s goal – once he took off, nothing was going to stop him.

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