Inspired Messi helps Barça crush Panathinaikos
Lionel Messi netted two superb goals, had a penalty saved and twice rattled the woodwork as Barcelona romped to a 5-1 comeback victory over Panathinaikos in Champions League Group D on Tuesday.
The Greek champions stunned the home side in the 20th minute when Sidney Govou fired them in front on their first foray upfield before World Player of the Year Messi levelled with a sublime chip two minutes later.
Spain striker David Villa swept home from a corner just after the half hour and Messi scored with a low shot after exchanging passes with Xavi and Pedro and ripping through the Panathinaikos defence on the stroke of halftime.
Pedro was on hand with just over 10 minutes remaining to poke the ball in after Messi's effort from an acute angle struck both uprights and Daniel Alves completed the rout with a looping header in added time.