MANCHESTER, England (AP) ― Manchester City powered forward with ease into the FA Cup quarterfinals on Saturday, overcoming Premier League title rival Chelsea 2-0 to maintain its quadruple chase.
Stevan Jovetic and Samir Nasri provided the goals to avenge a 1-0 league loss this month, with a formidable City in complete control and preventing Chelsea from hitting the target once.
“We can beat everyone,” Jovetic said. “We learnt something (from losing to Chelsea), you could see that on the pitch.”
Although Chelsea leads the league, City is only three points behind in third with a game in hand after its midweek game was postponed due to bad weather.
City also remains in Champions League contention, facing Barcelona at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday, and meets Sunderland in the League Cup final next month.
Sunderland also advanced in the FA Cup, with Craig Gardner clinching a 1-0 victory over Southampton.
Wigan maintained its cup defense by winning 2-1 at Cardiff, with Ben Watson, whose goal clinched the cup before the team was relegated from the topflight last May, netting the winner in south Wales.
Lionel Messi scored two goals and set up another to help Barcelona brush aside Rayo Vallecano 6-0 and keep its share of the Spanish league lead on Saturday, after fellow pacesetter Atletico Madrid rolled over Valladolid 3-0.
Barcelona’s big win, which included the scoring return of Neymar after a monthlong injury absence, came three days before it visits Manchester City in the Champions League last 16.
Adriano opened the scoring after two minutes. Messi netted with a lob in the 36th, and he struck again in the second half along with Alexis Sanchez, Pedro Rodriguez and Neymar.
Messi’s double gave him 228 goals in league play at the age of 26, tying him with Raul Gonzalez as the competition’s third leading all-time scorer. Telmo Zarra holds the record with 251.