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Messi double as Barcelona qualify for last 16

Published on Nov 21, 2012 6:07 AM
 
Barcelona's forward Lionel Messi (left) scores a goal during the Champions League Group G football match between Spartak and Barcelona in Moscow on November 20, 2012. -- PHOTO: AFP

MOSCOW (AFP) - Lionel Messi continued his prodigious goalscoring form with a brace as Barcelona qualified for the last 16 of the Champions League with a 3-0 win over Spartak Moscow who have been eliminated.

After Dani Alves had put them ahead after 16 minutes, Messi bagged his double before half time to extend Barca's lead at the top of Group G although Celtic, who face Benfica later, can still overtake them if they win their last two games and Barca slip-up.

Messi, who was top scorer in the competition for a record fourth time last season, now has five goals from five games and he has 80 for the calendar year as he pursues Gerd Muller's 85 playing for Bayern Munich and Germany in 1972.

And he moved level with Ruud van Nistelrooy on 56 Champions League goals behind Raul, the competition's all time scorer with 71.

 
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