Tracking Lionel Messi's 2012-13 UEFA Champions League Campaign with Barcelona

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Tracking Lionel Messi's 2012-13 UEFA Champions League Campaign with Barcelona

FC Barcelona's Lionel Messi is the joint second-leading scorer in the 2012-13 UEFA Champions League with eight goals.

Only Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo (11) has scored more in the competition this season.

In 736 minutes of on-pitch action, Messi has put 27 attempts on target and 14 off target.

He has assisted three goals, completed 79 percent of his passes and completed two of six crosses attempted (stats via UEFA.com).

Keep reading for a full recap of Messi's eight Champions League goals this season, from the group stage through the knockout drama.

 

(Photo: AP)

Barcelona and Messi began their Champions League campaign in exciting fashion with a Group G thriller against Spartak Moscow.

Cristian Tello gave hosts Barcelona the lead in the 14th minute before Spartak replied with the next two goals. Messi saved Barca's blushes with two goals in the final 20 minutes, scoring from crosses by Tello and Alexis Sanchez.

Earlier, Messi had been denied by Spartak keeper Andriy Dykan. Moments later, Romulo scored the go-ahead goal for the visitors at the other end.

 

(Photo: Getty Images)

After two scoreless Champions League matches, Messi returned to the scoresheet in Barca's surprising loss at Scottish champions Celtic.

Victor Wanyama put Celtic ahead in the 21st minute before Tony Watt doubled the hosts' advantage on the break in the 83rd minute as Barca pushed for the equalizer.

Messi grabbed a consolation goal in the first minute of stoppage time, tucking in the rebound after Pedro's shot was parried.

 

(Photo via FCBarcelona.com)

In the return fixture against Spartak in Moscow, Messi scored twice in the first half as Barca secured a comfortable 3-0 victory.

The goals brought Messi's total for 2012 to 80, five behind Gerd Muller's all-time record. Messi later set a new mark.

Messi scored his first goal, Barca's second, in the 27th minute, finishing off a rebound of Andres Iniesta's original shot. He rounded the keeper and scored his second nine minutes later, after receiving a pass from Pedro.

 

(Photo: Getty Images)

Barcelona drew AC Milan in the Round of 16 and lost 2-0 in the first leg at the San Siro. Back on home turf, Messi inspired Barca to an impressive 4-0 victory that clinched a spot in the quarterfinals.

Messi needed only five minutes to put Barca ahead.

Accepting a pass from Xavi in traffic in the Milan box, Messi drove an unstoppable shot into the top corner to breathe life back into Barca's Champions League challenge.

M'Baye Niang nearly equalized for Milan with a shot off the upright, but Barcelona made the visitors pay moments later. After a quick counter, Messi scored his second of the night despite appearing to be offside when Iniesta played the final pass.

David Villa scored Barca's third in the 55th minute to make it 3-2 on aggregate, and Jordi Alba added the clinching fourth in stoppage time.

 

(Photo: Getty Images)

In the quarterfinals, Messi scored the opener after creative work by Dani Alves in the 38th minute as Barcelona drew 2-2 with Paris Saint-Germain in the first leg at the Parc des Princes. Messi left the match at halftime with a hamstring injury, and his fitness became a key storyline in the buildup to the second leg.

The Argentine returned in the second half of the second leg with Barca trailing 1-0. Messi didn't score, but his introduction in the 62nd minute did change the complexion of the match.

Playing with more confidence and cohesion with Messi on the pitch, Barcelona equalized in the 71st minute through Pedro and advanced to the semifinals on away goals after a 1-1 draw.

Up next for Messi and Barca is a semifinal with Bayern Munich. The first leg is scheduled for Tuesday in Munich, with the return leg set for next Wednesday at the Camp Nou.

 

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