Messi fires Barcelona into Champions League last 16

Lionel Messi scored his ninth double of the season as Barcelona reached the knockout stage of the Champions League with a 3-0 victory at Spartak Moscow on Tuesday.

Messi has now scored 80 goals for club and country in 2012, only five behind former Germany striker Gerd Mueller’s all-time record from 1972.

The Argentina forward made it 2-0 in the 27th minute after getting first to a rebound, and beat goalkeeper Andriy Dikan one-on-one when Pedro Rodriguez sent him through 12 minutes later for his 56th Champions League goal.

Defender Daniel Alves scored for Barcelona with a low right-footed shot into the corner in the 16th.

Barcelona tops Group G with 12 points. Spartak is last with three points. On December 5, Barcelona hosts Benfica and Spartak travels to Celtic.

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