Lionel Messi kept up his stellar pre- World Cup form to help rampant Paris Saint-Germain become one of four teams to advance to the last 16 of the Champions League on Tuesday, along with Chelsea, Benfica and Borussia Dortmund. That’s more than half of the round of 16 lineup confirmed now — five clubs had already gone through — and PSG will be one of the teams its rivals are looking to avoid, especially with Messi in this mood. Kylian Mbappe, too.
At opposite ends of their careers, the two superstar forwards are tasked with guiding the French champions to a first Champions League title and they both scored twice in a 7-2 thrashing of Maccabi Haifa. Neymar, the other member of the team’s high-profile attacking trident, also scored in a victory that guaranteed PSG a top-two finish alongside Benfica in Group H. Both teams are on 11 points heading into the final round. Benfica was a 4-3 winner over Juventus, which has failed to reach the knockout stage for the first time since the 2013-14 season.