Goals from Thierry Henry, Lionel Messi and Samuel Eto'o inspired Barcelona to an emphatic 5-2 victory over Lyon that booked their place in the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals. The result gave the Spanish league leaders a 6-3 aggregate win after the first leg ended 1-1 and takes Pep Guardiola's men a step closer to the trophy they last won in 2006.
Reigning French champions Lyon received a pre-match boost when their France international striker Karim Benzema was declared fit to play, but Barca bossed the opening exchanges, with Eto'o and fit-again Andres Iniesta both going close. Ederson and Benzema then spurned presentable chances at the other end, and Henry punished the visitors' profligacy with two goals in as many minutes mid-way through the first half.
First he ran onto Rafael Marquez's lofted pass and calmly tucked the ball beneath Lyon goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, before picking up Xavi's prodded pass into the area and rifling home a low left-footed shot to put his side 2-0 up on the night. On 40 minutes Argentine winger Messi struck a sublime third, darting in from the right flank and exchanging passes with Eto'o before stroking a measured finish into the bottom-left corner.
Moments later Lyon's capitulation was complete, as Eto'o moved onto Henry's square ball before smashing a shot past Lloris. Lyon pulled one back almost immediately thanks to a precise header from midfielder Jean Makoun, and visiting captain Juninho breathed new life into the tie seconds after half-time when he slotted into the bottom-right corner after an intelligent dummy by Benzema.
Benzema wasted a great opportunity to reduce the deficit when he blazed over from the edge of the box with 10 minutes remaining, before Juninho compounded his side's misery by picking up a second yellow card in injury time. Malian substitute Seydou Keita set the seal on a memorable night for the Catalans, sprinting onto Xavi's pass and rounding Lloris before poking the ball into an empty night.
Messi summed up the effort best after the final whistle. "We weren't afraid, but it's true after those two goals (by Lyon) we were a little surprised, we had a complicated moment," he said. "But even so we weren't in a very dangerous situation, we were all united, we wanted the same thing." Lyon defender Fabio Grosso shrugged off the loss. "There's not a lot to say, everyone can see we didn't play well in the first half," he said. "It was very hard against a super team, but we showed a different face in the second half than in the first."