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Neymar blow to Barcelona

Barcelona: Quicksilver Lionel Messi scored twice as Barcelona beat Getafe 2-0 and qualified 6-0 on aggregate for the King’s Cup quarter finals but they lost Neymar to injury midway through the first half.

Messi and Neymar were returning to the starting line-up but the Brazil forward lasted less than 25 minutes as he twisted his ankle turning awkwardly by the touchline and was taken away on a stretcher.

However, Neymar is expected to be back in action against Manchester City in a Champions League match, next month.

Midfielder Xavi came on as a second-half substitute for a landmark 700th appearance for Barcelona. It was Argentina captain Messi’s first start since he injured his hamstring last November and the diminutive forward looked sharp in front of goal.

After slotting home his first in the run-up to halftime, Messi struck again after the break following a trademark mazy run when he dodged several challenges and a dive by goalkeeper Jordi Codina before tucking the ball into the net.

Real Sociedad also progressed with a 1-0 win at Villarreal, having drawn 0-0 in the first leg of their last 16 tie. “We had the right intensity and pressured well. We didn’t give Getafe many chances to get into the game,” Martino said.