Fri, 17 Jan 2014 10:15:00 GMT | By AFP

Lionel Messi nets double as Barcelona make Copa quarters

Messi's good form saw Barcelona sailing into the quarterfinals of the Copa del Rey


Lionel Messi nets double as Barcelona make Copa quarters (© AFP)

Madrid: Lionel Messi scored twice, including one brilliant individual effort, in his first start of the year as Barcelona beat Getafe 2-0 in the second-leg of their Copa del Rey last 16 tie to progress 6-0 on aggregate.

However, it was far from a perfect evening for the Catalans as Neymar had to be carried from the field after suffering a nasty looking right ankle sprain midway through the first-half.

With Barcelona already leading 4-0 from the first-leg, thanks in part to two goals from Messi on his first appearance as a substitute after two months out, Barca boss Gerardo Martino made nine changes to the side that started Saturday's La Liga 0-0 draw at Atletico Madrid.

Neymar was also making his first start of the year after recovering from a bout of gastroenteritis.

However, his return lasted only 23 minutes as he had to be helped off the field by two members of the Barca medical staff as he turned his ankle in attempting to cross the ball from the left side of the area.

The visitors shrugged off the loss of the Brazilian, though, as Cristian Tello's driven cross was turned in at the near post by Messi two minutes before half-time.

And the best was still to come from the diminutive Argentine as he danced past three Getafe challenges before rounding goalkeeper Jordi Codina and finishing from a tight angle for his fourth goal of the tie just after the hour mark.

Martino then took the opportunity to hand Xavi Hernandez his 700th appearance for the club as he replaced Cesc Fabregas with 20 minutes remaining.

Messi should have rounded off his evening with a hat-trick on 85 minutes as he was played in with just Codina to beat, but the keeper made a fine save with his right leg to turn the ball behind for a corner.

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