COPA DEL REY

Barca advances despite Neymar scare

Lionel Messi
Barcelona forward Lionel Messi scored twice against Getafe at the Coliseum Alfonso Pér...
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MADRID (AP)

Lionel Messi scored a pair against Getafe to power Barcelona into the Copa del Rey quarterfinals with a 2-0 win which was mired by an injury to Neymar on Thursday.

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Days after seeing Cristiano Ronaldo end his four-year domination of the Ballon d'Or, Messi demonstrated his intention to pry it right back from his Real Madrid counterpart with goals in each half to guide the Spanish champions into the last eight by an aggregate score of 6-0.

But the victory was tarnished by Neymar's exit in the 22nd minute after the Brazil striker turned his right ankle while attempting to extend his dribble to the goal-line, falling under his own weight and going over his limb.

Neymar, who was replaced by Alexis Sanchez, was in obvious pain after going down without any contact, appearing to catch his boot in the grass and go over it.

After losing 4-0 at Barcelona, the hosts nearly gained some early momentum at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez only for Barcelona goalkeeper Jose Manuel Pinto to deny Pablo Sarabia moments before Neymar's injury.

But Getafe never stood a chance of getting back into the series after that as Messi ensured there would be no repeat of the 2006-07 season when Barcelona lost 4-0 here in the return leg to miss out on the final.

Cesc Fabregas played to Cristian Tello's run into the left side of the area and Messi was well-placed to redirect the Barcelona winger's cross beyond goalkeeper Jordi Codina for the 44th-minute opener.

The Argentina forward showed he hadn't lost any of his pace after missing two months as he blew past four defenders in the 63rd and into the area around Codina before slotting home from a tight angle for 2-0.

Codina did well to deny Messi a hat trick, making a lightning quick reaction save with his leg to deny Messi from inside the area just before the end.

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