Skip to main content

Sanchez brace gives Barcelona edge over Leverkusen

updated 7:16 AM EST, Wed February 15, 2012
Barcelona's Alexis Sanchez celebrates after scoring during the Champions League last 16 tie against Bayer Leverkusen.
Barcelona's Alexis Sanchez celebrates after scoring during the Champions League last 16 tie against Bayer Leverkusen.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Barcelona win 3-1 in first leg of Champions League tie against Bayer Leverkusen
  • Alexis Sanchez scores twice and Lionel Messi wraps it up for Spain's titleholders
  • Lyon beat Cyprus' APOEL FC 1-0 to edge first leg of their last-16 tie in France
  • Besiktas and Olympiakos win last-32 first-leg ties in the second-tier Europa League

(CNN) -- Barcelona put one foot into the quarterfinals of the Champions League after completing a 3-1 win at Bayer Leverkusen on Tuesday.

The reigning European champions dominated possession for large parts of the game with Alexis Sanchez opening the scoring in the 41st minute of the opening leg of the last-16 tie in Germany.

The Chilean striker chased onto a pass from Lionel Messi before firing past Leverkusen goalkeeper Bernd Leno.

Leverkusen equalized seven minutes after the break as recent signing Vedran Corluka chipped in a cross from which Czech Republic defender Michel Kadlec headed home.

But it wasn't long before Barca were back in front as Sanchez bagged his second of the night, scoring from a tight angle after receiving the ball from Cesc Fabregas.

Leverkusen had chances to equalize again as Renato Augusto forced a save from Victor Valdes, and midfielder Gonzalo Castro also hit the post in the 64th minute.

But it was Messi who had the final say on the evening, converting a cross from Dani Alves in the 88th minute to give Barca a comfortable buffer ahead of the second leg at the Nou Camp on March 7.

The world player of the year had started the move, finding Alves down the right with a superb pass, and he earlier hit the post after a sublime flick over the onrushing Leno.

In Tuesday's other last-16 tie, French side Lyon scored a narrow 1-0 win over minnows APOEL FC at the Stade Gerland.

Alexandre Lacazette's goal in the 58th minute proved the difference between the teams, but the first club from Cyprus to reach the knockout stages still have hopes of progressing with victory in Nicosia on March 7.

There were two Europa League ties played Tuesday with Besiktas beating 10-man Braga 2-0 in the first leg of their last-32 tie.

Helder Barbosa's dismissal in the first half capped a miserable night for last year's finalists as their Turkish visitors made the most of the numerical advantage with goals in either half from Tomas Sivok and former Portugal international Simao.

Olympiakos edged Russian side Rubin Kazan 1-0 thanks to a goal from David Fuster in the 73rd minute.

Former Manchester United goalkeeper Roy Carroll coming on as a substitute to save a penalty five minutes later to earn the Greek side a hard fought victory.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 7:51 AM EDT, Fri August 15, 2014
Last season Jose Mourinho wrote off the title of hopes of his "little horse" -- but now he has a squad primed to dethrone Manchester City.
updated 2:58 PM EDT, Thu August 14, 2014
Luis Suarez will have to wait until late October to make his competitive Barcelona debut his ban for biting an opponent was partially upheld.
updated 12:49 PM EDT, Thu August 14, 2014
Can Louis van Gaal cut it at Manchester United? Will Bayern conquer all in Germany? Is this PSG's year to win the Champions League?
updated 6:12 AM EDT, Thu August 7, 2014
It's been a difficult year for Barcelona on and off the pitch, and the signing of Luis Suarez has only increased the prospect of more controversy.
updated 10:35 AM EDT, Mon August 11, 2014
Germany striker Miroslav Klose, who scored a total of 16 goals at four World Cup finals, has announced his retirement from international football.
updated 7:45 AM EDT, Thu July 31, 2014
Cultural y Deportivo Leonesa line up in their tuxedo kit.
When celebrating an important anniversary, it's always good to look your best. At least that's theory for a Spanish football team's preseason tuxedo kit.
updated 7:03 AM EDT, Wed July 30, 2014
While many top European clubs are targeting the U.S. market, French football is setting its sights on expanding into Asia -- with China playing a key role.
updated 8:29 AM EDT, Sun July 27, 2014
Major League Soccer has snared another big name from England with former Chelsea star Frank Lampard committing his future to New York City FC.
updated 12:56 PM EDT, Wed July 23, 2014
Europe's top clubs have booked a summer holiday to the U.S. -- but this is business not pleasure as they look to cash in on the World Cup afterglow.
updated 2:28 PM EDT, Tue July 22, 2014
Brazil's new coach Dunga won the World Cup as a player in 1994.
Former World Cup-winning captain Dunga is appointed coach of Brazil's national team for the second time, charged with restoring national pride.
updated 10:20 AM EDT, Tue July 22, 2014
Colombia's World Cup star James Rodriguez continues Real Madrid's long tradition of signing "Galacticos."
updated 6:07 AM EDT, Mon July 21, 2014
Germany's World Cup-winning captain Philipp Lahm has decided to go out at the top by announcing his retirement from international football.
ADVERTISEMENT