CORDOBA (Sporting Alert) — Lionel Messi struck twice to lead Barcelona to a 2-0 win over Cordoba in their Copa del Rey first leg clash on Wednesday night.
Also on the night, Celta stunned Real Madrid 2-1, while there were also wins for Sevilla and Atletico Madrid.
The two goals scored by Messi were his 87th and 88th strikes in the 2012 calendar year as he continues to increase his record tally.
The Barcelona talisman opened the scoring for the La Liga leaders when he finished off a pass played to him by David Villa in the 11th minute.
Messi added a second after the interval with another cool finish off a pass from substitute Alexis Sanchez to give the Spanish La Liga leaders a massive advantage heading into the second leg next month at Camp Nou.
Cristiano Ronaldo was on target, but Real Madrid were beaten 2-1 at Celta.
The home side jumped out to a 2-0 lead through goals from Mario Bermejo and Cristian Bustos.
Bermejo beat the offside trap to score his team’s opener in the 56th minute before Bustos added a second with a stunning strike from outside the area in the 78th.
Ronaldo volleyed home late to pull a goal back for Real Madrid – one in which could be proven to be very valuable going into the second leg at the Santiago Bernabeu in January.
Elsewhere in the Cup tournament, Sevilla, courtesy of a brace from Alvaro Negredo, hammered Mallorca 5-0 on the road, while Atletico Madrid ran away comfortable 3-0 winners over Getafe.
Diego Costa netted twice for Atletico, including a first half penalty, while Filipe Luis added another.
Athletic and Eibar played to a 1-1 draw in the night’s other game.
SPANISH Copa Del Rey Results
20:00 Full-Time: Athletic 1 : 1 Eibar
20:00 Full-Time: Cordoba 0 : 2 Barcelona
20:00 Full-Time: Mallorca 0 : 5 Sevilla
22:00 Full-Time: Atletico Madrid 3 : 0 Getafe
22:00 Full-Time: Celta 2 : 1 Real Madrid