Lionel Messi has reflected that for Barcelona ‘everything came off perfectly’ in their 4-0 Champions League win over Milan.
The 25-year-old netted the first two goals on the night to help eliminate the Italians from the Last 16 with a 4-2 aggregate win.
“We needed a night like that not only to get through, but to erase that result in Milan. Everything came off perfectly,” he enthused to UEFA’s official website.
“I think our fans knew just how we were going to respond and we, the players, knew the crucial thing was to re-establish our way of playing. We did it.
“From the fifth minute when we got that important first goal, we just went after Milan in every way. We wanted that opening goal as soon as possible to cut the deficit and to make the fans feel it was going to happen.
“It was lightning quick movement of the ball to get it to me and, happily, I put it away. That's why we celebrated with such joy.”
The performance was in contrast to recent weeks, where the team have struggled.
“This is the kind of performance we've been producing for years. Perhaps in the last few matches we've lost a little of our form.
“We knew, however, that to go through all we really needed was to get back to being ourselves. We envisaged what kind of performance this needed to be and how to produce it. This is the Barca that we and our fans want to see every game.”
The Argentine’s brace saw him move outright into second spot in the list of all-time top goalscorers in the Champions League. Messi is on 58 from 76 appearances, with only Raul Gonzalez’ 71 ahead of him.
“The fact these goals took me into the top two of all-time Champions League goalscorers is really beautiful.
“It's an achievement to be in second place already, but the really important thing is that Barcelona are in the quarter-finals because that's all we wanted to achieve tonight.”