It didn't take Lionel Messi long to make his mark and remove the drama from Barcelona's last-16 second leg vs. Celta Vigo in the Copa del Rey.

By Avi Creditor
January 11, 2018

Lionel Messi may have some new teammates, but there's still no question as to who runs the show at Barcelona.

With Philippe Coutinho looking on in the stands and hours after Barcelona announced the signing of Colombian center back Yerry Mina, Messi put on a show at Camp Nou, scoring two similar goals in the first 15 minutes of Barcelona's round-of-16 second leg 5-0 rout vs. Celta Vigo in the Copa del Rey. Barcelona wound up advancing on a 6-1 aggregate to keep its hopes of hoisting the trophy for a record 30th time alive. 

Messi twice volleyed home left-footed attempts from the center of the box, giving Barcelona a 3-1 aggregate edge in the process. Barcelona drew Celta Vigo 1-1 in the home leg, with Messi and a number of Barcelona first-choice regulars getting a breather. That away goal gave Barcelona the slight edge coming home, and Messi expanded on that in no time. 

In the 13th minute, Messi reached back with his left foot and volleyed in the opener, with Jordi Alba providing the service and Luis Suarez allowing it to reach the Argentine superstar.

Two minutes later Messi was at it again, with Jordi Alba again setting him up for another left-footed finish.

Messi helped pad Barcelona's advantage even more before the half-hour mark, returning the favor to Jordi Alba with an inch-perfect diagonal ball, which the sliding left back rifled home to make it 3-0 on the night, 4-1 on aggregate.

The discrepancy on the scoreboard grew moments later. Suarez pounced on an ill-advised, deflected back pass, finishing with ease in the 31st minute to make it 4-0 on the night and 5-1 on aggregate.

Ivan Rakitic put the finishing touches on the rout, moments after having a back-heel attempt blocked. Nobody elected to defend him on the ensuing corner kick, and the Croatian midfielder easily headed home to make it 5-0 (6-1).

Barcelona joins the seven other contenders in the quarterfinals, with Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Valencia, Sevilla, Espanyol, Leganes and Deportivo Alaves previously punching their tickets.

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