Barca and Bayern to clash in ECL quarters

Lionel Messi netted for Barcelona' in their Champions League round 16 second leg win over Napoli.
Lionel Messi netted for Barcelona' in their Champions League round 16 second leg win over Napoli.

Lionel Messi has bamboozled half of Napoli's team before scoring with an exquisite solo effort that helped Barcelona reach the Champions League quarter-finals in Portugal.

Messi netted Barcelona's second goal in a 3-1 victory at an empty Nou Camp that sent the Spanish side past Napoli 4-2 on aggregate.

Clement Lenglet and Luis Suarez also scored for Barcelona who advanced five months after a 1-1 draw in Naples in the first leg before the pandemic stopped European soccer.

Barca will face Bayern Munich in a one-off last eight clash in UEFA's Lisbon 'bubble' after the German champions crushed Chelsea 4-1 on Saturday in their round of 16 second leg to seal a comprehensive 7-1 aggregate result.

"I'd say that's a 50-50. Bayern are great opponents, they are a candidate for the title but it's 11 vs 11 for 90 minutes," Suarez said.

Messi's goal in the 23rd minute was arguably the pick of the 31 he has scored this season in all competitions.

Napoli appeared to have him in check when he received the ball all alone outside the right corner of the area.

However, Messi dipped his head and took on the defence. He kept control of the ball despite being knocked over while going past three Napoli players.

Three more tried to intervene but Messi found the angle to fire home while losing his balance to send the ball past the goalkeeper and inside the far post.

His beautiful goal doubled Barcelona's lead after Lenglet headed in a corner in the 10th while Suarez netted from the penalty spot in the 45th.

Lorenzo Insigne pulled one back for the visitors in first-half stoppage time with a penalty awarded after Ivan Rakitic fouled Dries Mertens.

Barcelona are searching for a first European Cup since 2015 and only a Champions League trophy will prevent them from ending the season without a title for the first time since 2014.

"This was the first forward step we wanted and now I hope that we play the matches ahead with the same attitude which we demonstrated here," Barcelona coach Quique Setien said.

Robert Lewandowski was electric, scoring twice to reach 53 goals for the season across all competitions as Bayern thumped Chelsea at home.

Chelsea goalkeeper Willy Caballero brought down Lewandowski and the Polish striker converted from the spot in the 10th minute.

Ivan Perisic doubled Bayern's lead before Tammy Abraham replied for Chelsea shortly before halftime.

Midfielder Corentin Tolisso got Bayern's third on 76 minutes before Lewandowski wrapped up the emphatic victory by heading home to take his tally in this season's competition to 13 - putting Cristiano Ronaldo's record of 17 within reach.

"Barca are a quality side but we want to compete with them," Bayern's David Alaba told Sky.

"We'll go to Portugal with confidence and, after the last few months, we have nothing to hide from."

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE QUARTER-FINALS

Atalanta v Paris Saint-Germain - Wednesday 12 August

Leipzig v Atletico Madrid - Thursday 13 August

Barcelona v Bayern Munich - Friday 14 August

Manchester City v Lyon - Saturday 15 August

* This season's quarter-finals will be one-off ties in Lisbon, Portugal.

Australian Associated Press