MADRID: Lionel Messi marked his return from a near two-month injury absence by coming off the bench to score two late goals as Barcelona beat Getafe 4-0 in the Copa del Rey on Wednesday.
While Cesc Fabregas also scored twice, the atmosphere at the far-from-capacity Camp Nou only picked up with Messi´s entrance as a substitute in the 64th minute.
The Argentina forward showed no after-effects from a torn left hamstring. “I felt good in training and even if they checked me thoroughly, once you get on the field it´s totally different,” Messi said. “Physically I felt good, I didn´t feel any discomfort in my muscle.” “I played through injury,” Messi said of the buildup to his 59-day absence, when he was bothered by various problems. “But I did well to get through all of this. And now I´m motivated to make this a great year.”
Messi slotted home Martin Montoya´s lay-off inside the area on the stroke of stoppage time before capping a typical run through the opponent´s defense with a rising shot into the back of the net moments later. “Messi´s career is like a movie script,” Barcelona coach Gerardo Martino said. “When you think he´s down, he scores goals within just two or three minutes. His game was like a summary of his entire career here.”
Pedro Rodriguez found Fabregas inside the area with a well-placed cross to head home the ninth-minute opener, and Fabregas later doubled the advantage from the penalty spot in front of 39,299 fans at the 100,000-capacity stadium.
Barcelona was without forward Neymar because of a stomach bug. The game was watched by the team´s former coach Tito Vilanova, who showed the effects of his cancer treatment.(AP)