Posted: Tuesday November 20, 2012 2:12PM ; Updated: Tuesday November 20, 2012 2:34PM

Messi brace sends Barcelona into Champions League final 16

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Lionel Messi celebrates with teammates after scoring his second goal
Lionel Messi celebrates with teammates after scoring his second goal
Ivan Sekretarev/AP

MOSCOW (AP) -- 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 Dec. 5, Barcelona hosts Benfica and Spartak travels to Celtic.

Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

 
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