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Lionel Messi tore apart Bayern Munich five years ago with a sublime brace at the Nou Camp

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lionel messi tore apart bayern munich five years ago with a sublime brace at the nou camp

It has been five years since Lionel Messi produced one of the greatest performances in Champions League history, where he single-handedly dismantled Pep Guardiola‘s Bayern Munich side at the Nou Camp.

A lot has changed in that time, especially this year, but what has remained is that Messi is still head and shoulders above the rest.

In 2015, Barcelona were drawn against the Bavarian side in the last four of the Champions League, with the Catalan giants getting home advantage for the first leg in early May.

Lionel Messi put on a masterclass performance for Barcelona against Bayern Munich in 2015

Lionel Messi put on a masterclass performance for Barcelona against Bayern Munich in 2015

Lionel Messi put on a masterclass performance for Barcelona against Bayern Munich in 2015

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At the time, Barcelona boasted a deadly front-three of Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar while Ivan Rakitic, Andres Iniesta and Sergio Busquets sat behind them in the midfield.

It was arguably the greatest club team in the game’s history and Bayern had no answer for them, or more importantly, Messi.

The game started off with both Bayern and Barca holding a high-line when in possession, then defending as a solid, cohesive unit without the ball.

As the minutes ticked by, Messi was able to get into his groove, weaving in and out of players while the ball stay glued to his feet. 

The play flowed through the Argentine, with Rakitic keen to find him whenever he had the chance.

Messi set up Luis Suarez to score the opener but Manuel Neuer came out on top in the first half

Messi set up Luis Suarez to score the opener but Manuel Neuer came out on top in the first half

Messi set up Luis Suarez to score the opener but Manuel Neuer came out on top in the first half

The trademark Barcelona team-press was in full effect at the Nou Camp, with Messi leading the charge while throwing himself into tackles early on.

In what was a goalless first half, Messi should have got an assist but Suarez was thwarted by a brilliant Neuer, who won their one-on-one duel using his feet.

But by the 77th minute, Messi turned the game on its head. 

Receiving the ball on the right corner of Neuer’s area, Messi quickly cut inside onto his left foot before unleashing a low, powerful shot towards the German’s near post to finally break Bayern’s resistance.

It was his 76th Champions League goal, bringing him level with old foe Cristiano Ronaldo in the scoring charts. Barcelona were now in full control.

After a goalless first half, Messi turned the game on its head with a brilliant strike to make it 1-0

After a goalless first half, Messi turned the game on its head with a brilliant strike to make it 1-0

After a goalless first half, Messi turned the game on its head with a brilliant strike to make it 1-0

It was his 76th Champions League goal, bringing him level with Ronaldo in the scoring charts

It was his 76th Champions League goal, bringing him level with Ronaldo in the scoring charts

It was his 76th Champions League goal, bringing him level with Ronaldo in the scoring charts

The goal drew comparisons to his strike against Manchester United in the 2011 Champions League final at Wembley, with the Argentine putting on yet another masterclass on that occasion. 

Now Bayern were looking fragile, giving away wayward passes even when there was no signature Catalan press. There was an feeling of panic around Guardiola’s well-drilled team. 

Then came the moment he sat down – and, quite frankly, embarrassed – Jerome Boateng.

Picking up the ball from Rakitic around 25 yards out, Messi drove at the World Cup-winning centre-half, baiting him into making a tackle while he scurried back towards his goal.

With the most elegant of movements, Messi jinks inside before cutting the ball back in a flash, leaving Boateng in a twist and eventually on his backside, allowing his opponent to finish off a sublime run in quite some style.

Then, in a moment of magic minutes later, Messi sat Jerome Boateng down before scoring

Then, in a moment of magic minutes later, Messi sat Jerome Boateng down before scoring

Then, in a moment of magic minutes later, Messi sat Jerome Boateng down before scoring

The World Cup-winning centre-half was left in a twist as Messi sprinted by him

The World Cup-winning centre-half was left in a twist as Messi sprinted by him

The World Cup-winning centre-half was left in a twist as Messi sprinted by him

After leaving Boateng on his backside, Messi pulled off his trademark dink to beat Neuer

After leaving Boateng on his backside, Messi pulled off his trademark dink to beat Neuer

After leaving Boateng on his backside, Messi pulled off his trademark dink to beat Neuer

The Argentine delicately lifted the ball over an on-rushing Neuer to score a sublime second

The Argentine delicately lifted the ball over an on-rushing Neuer to score a sublime second

The Argentine delicately lifted the ball over an on-rushing Neuer to score a sublime second

Rafinha is unable to clear the ball with a overhead kick as Messi wheels away in celebration

Rafinha is unable to clear the ball with a overhead kick as Messi wheels away in celebration

Rafinha is unable to clear the ball with a overhead kick as Messi wheels away in celebration

Dani Alves (left) piles on top of Messi after the Argentine scored one of his best-ever goals

Dani Alves (left) piles on top of Messi after the Argentine scored one of his best-ever goals

Dani Alves (left) piles on top of Messi after the Argentine scored one of his best-ever goals

A marauding Neuer cut off the angle well but Messi bettered him again, beating him with a chip – his trademark dink – to make it 2-0 and put the tie to bed.  

That goal was replayed over and over, becoming the latest bit of sublime skill to be added to Messi’s ever-growing collection of magical moments.

Messi did eventually get his assist after playing Neymar through on goal, who unlike Suarez, managed to finish past Neuer.

Bayern would get the better of the Catalan giants in the second leg, beating Messi and Co 3-2 at the Allianz Arena but the damage was already done, as Barcelona booked their spot in the 2015 Champions League final – which they would go on to win against Juventus and claim their fifth European crown.

Luis Enrique, Barcelona’s manager at the time, described his No 10 as someone ‘from a different dimension’ while the world of football went stir crazy over what has just been witnessed.

Messi eventually got his assist after he put Neymar through in on goal to make it 3-0 Barcelona

Messi eventually got his assist after he put Neymar through in on goal to make it 3-0 Barcelona

Messi eventually got his assist after he put Neymar through in on goal to make it 3-0 Barcelona

With two goals and assist, Messi single-handedly torn apart Pep Guardiola's Bayern side

With two goals and assist, Messi single-handedly torn apart Pep Guardiola's Bayern side

With two goals and assist, Messi single-handedly torn apart Pep Guardiola’s Bayern side

Now, we find ourselves asking if the talismanic Argentine can do it again when the two sides meet on Friday evening.

Bayern are in imperious form going into the one-legged encounter, with many declaring Robert Lewandowski and Co as the favourites to advance to the semis.

However, when you’ve got a player of Messi’s calibre on your side, a masterclass performance is just around the corner. 

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Premier League clubs ‘expected’ to help bail out smaller clubs as fans banned from stadiums until next year

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premier league clubs expected to help bail out smaller clubs as fans banned from stadiums until next year scaled

MINISTERS “expect” Premier League clubs to help smaller clubs after fans were banned from stadiums until next year.

Boris Johnson has scuppered plans to get supporters back on the terraces next month.

⚠️ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates

Football fans have been banned from stadiums until next year

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Football fans have been banned from stadiums until next yearCredit: Getty Images – Getty

Now the Government has asked the wealthier outfits to step in while it negotiates a wider bailout to the sports industry.

Clubs in the lower ­leagues face a turbulent financial future as, unlike Premier League giants, they rely on ticket sales.

Under the PM’s new Covid plans, pilots allowing 1,000 fans into EFL matches are ditched.

Sports bodies want the Government to support the industry as it did with the arts, which was given access to a £1.57billion package.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden is said to be ­trying to “identify ways we can support sport”.

Today the Premier League said they were “disappointed” fans would not be allowed in next month and said stadiums were safer than many other public spaces.

Boris Johnson has scuppered plans to get supporters back on the terraces next month

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Boris Johnson has scuppered plans to get supporters back on the terraces next monthCredit: Sky News
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden is said to be ­trying to 'identify ways we can support sport'

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Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden is said to be ­trying to ‘identify ways we can support sport’Credit: Getty Images – Getty

The Sun Says

RICH Premier League clubs should bail out lower league outfits facing Covid oblivion.

They are not just the lifeblood of their communities. They and their players are, in part, the lifeblood of the Prem too.

Some have rich owners, who must dig deep now that they are facing a season without fans. But many teams don’t. 

It would be a calamity to let them fail through no fault of their own.

A few, admittedly, are badly run — and the Prem would need strict guarantees on how a £200million donation would be spent by the 72 EFL clubs. 

Some people will say the Government should step in. But it cannot bail out every industry. That way lies ruin. In football’s case there’s another solution.

It’s right for wealthy Prem giants to fund a rescue. It’s in the national interest and their own too.

In a statement they said: “Football is not the same without attending fans and the football economy is unsustainable without them.

“Last season, Premier League clubs suffered £700m in losses and at present, our national game is losing more than £100m per month.

“This is starting to have a devastating impact on clubs and their communities.”

Boris Johnson reveals new restrictions on sporting events

GOT a story? RING The Sun on 0207 782 4104 or WHATSAPP on 07423720250 or EMAIL exclusive@the-sun.co.uk

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Micah Richards nearly MISSED Monday Night Football after getting locked in his dressing room!

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micah richards nearly missed monday night football after getting locked in his dressing room

Micah Richards has admitted that he almost missed the start of Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football coverage after he found himself trapped inside his own dressing room for an hour and a half.

Behind the scenes footage hilariously showed an exasperated and very relieved Richards race into the studio as co-hosts David Jones and Jamie Carragher laughed at the former defender, just minutes before the trio were set to go live on Sky Sports.

Richards has revealed that it was the on-set staff who helped him reach his chair just in the nick of time, allowing him to analyse Manchester City‘s clash with Wolves at the Etihad in its entirety.

Micah Richards (R) has revealed how he nearly missed presenting Sky's Monday Night Football

Micah Richards (R) has revealed how he nearly missed presenting Sky's Monday Night Football

Micah Richards (R) has revealed how he nearly missed presenting Sky’s Monday Night Football

A day after his close shave, Richards tweeted: ‘Loved being on Sky Sports last night, but managed to get myself locked in the changing room for 90 mins before the show! 

‘Thanks to the staff for getting me out with 2 mins to spare – you’d never have known! @Carra23 & @DavidJonesSky were bricking doing the show without me.’

After managing to compose himself for the show, Sportsmail’s newest columnist went on to deliver an impassioned defence of his career and fellow pundit Alex Scott, following criticisms on social media.

Richards makes a mad dash for the studio set after being locked in his dressing room

Richards makes a mad dash for the studio set after being locked in his dressing room

Richards makes a mad dash for the studio set after being locked in his dressing room

The footballer-turned-pundit reveals that he was locked in his changing room for 90 minutes

The footballer-turned-pundit reveals that he was locked in his changing room for 90 minutes

The footballer-turned-pundit reveals that he was locked in his changing room for 90 minutes

Sportsmail's newest columnist made it to the set just minutes before the live broadcast

Sportsmail's newest columnist made it to the set just minutes before the live broadcast

Sportsmail’s newest columnist made it to the set just minutes before the live broadcast

In the last year, Richards has developed into one of Sky‘s most used and highly-respected analysts and has made a career for himself in journalism after retiring from professional football at the highest level. 

While his comments on both football and the Black Lives Matter movement have been heavily praised, Richards said on Monday night that he believes he is unfairly targeted online, as is Scott.

He went on to dismiss claims he was only hired because of the BLM movement and said he was hired on the merit of his hard work up until that point. 

Richards went on to deliver an impassioned defence of his career and fellow pundit Alex Scott

Richards went on to deliver an impassioned defence of his career and fellow pundit Alex Scott

Richards went on to deliver an impassioned defence of his career and fellow pundit Alex Scott

Richards also leapt to the defence of former England international Scott, who has herself been a victim of social media abuse in recent months after rising to prominence as a pundit.

Scott, the ex-Arsenal footballer and TV presenter aged 35, has been at the centre of much discussion – and relentless online trolling – amid rumours she’s set to become the new host of BBC’s A Question Of Sport, replacing Sue Barker, who was axed after 24 years.

But Richards described Scott as ‘absolutely incredible’ and ‘one of the best’ pundits he’s worked with.

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Frank Lampard challenges Callum Hudson-Odoi to ‘flourish again’ with starting berth against Barnsley

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frank lampard challenges callum hudson odoi to flourish again with starting berth against barnsley

Callum Hudson-Odoi will start Chelsea‘s Carabao Cup clash against Barnsley with Frank Lampard‘s challenge to ‘flourish again’ ringing in his ears.

Blues boss Lampard has confirmed that England wing Hudson-Odoi will make just his second start since February 1 in Wednesday night’s League Cup clash at Stamford Bridge.

The 19-year-old has shot to prominence with both Chelsea and England since making his Blues debut in 2017, but a torn Achilles in March 2019 dented his progress. 

Callum Hudson-Odoi will start Chelsea 's Carabao Cup clash against Barnsley

Callum Hudson-Odoi will start Chelsea 's Carabao Cup clash against Barnsley

Callum Hudson-Odoi will start Chelsea ‘s Carabao Cup clash against Barnsley

Frank Lampard has challenged the English winger to 'flourish again' for Chelsea

Frank Lampard has challenged the English winger to 'flourish again' for Chelsea

Frank Lampard has challenged the English winger to ‘flourish again’ for Chelsea 

Hudson-Odoi has long since shaken off that issue but continues to battle for regular football, with manager Lampard now accepting it ‘remains to be seen’ whether he could be loaned out before the October transfer window.

‘We know in a Premier League squad and the number of games we’re going to play, we need competition in those areas, back-ups in those areas and players competing to make that position their own,’ said Lampard.

‘That’s where Callum is at and that’s why I keep saying he needs to train, he needs to show in training every day and when he gets his opportunity in games, which he will have tomorrow because he will play against Barnsley.

‘At the moment we have Christian Pulisic injured, Hakim Ziyech injured. We played Timo Werner out wide against Liverpool. 

Lampard accepts that it 'remains to be seen' whether Hudson-Odoi could be loaned out

Lampard accepts that it 'remains to be seen' whether Hudson-Odoi could be loaned out

Lampard accepts that it ‘remains to be seen’ whether Hudson-Odoi could be loaned out

‘But the absolute natural winger who is fit at the minute is Callum. He has to show in every minute, on and off the ball, what he can do for the team and that’s the position Callum is in at the minute.

‘He’s had an early breakthrough in his career because of his talent, he’s had an injury and now I want to see him flourish again.’

Chelsea paid for Barnsley’s Covid-19 tests ahead Wednesday’s clash in west London, with Blues bosses not anticipating any issues with the fixture.

Bayern Munich have failed in the past with a concerted effort to prise Hudson-Odoi away from Chelsea, and the Bavarians are rumoured to retain their interest in one of England’s top young talents.

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