Daniele De Rossi and Kostas Manolas put through their own net either side of half-time as Roma imploded against a Barca side who never really hit the heights which have seen them remain unbeaten in La Liga and the Champions League this season.
Messi's effectiveness has been highlighted by Swiss newspaper Neue Zuercher Zeitung, who reported that he has run the least metres per minute of any attacker in the Champions League this season.
However, it will be a huge challenge for Roma to keep Barcelona from scoring on their home patch, especially with Messi in such fine form. Roma had an immediate chance for an equaliser.
Barca are strong favourites to clinch their first semi-final spot since 2014-15 when they won the tournament, next Wednesday at the Stadio Olimpico.
I don't know about you but I had to take a second look when I saw Lionel Messi was available at 10/3 to score two goals or more.
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It marked the second time a South Korean team of taekwondo artists performed in Pyongyang, and the first since 2002. The deployment of such powerful weaponry during past drills has frequently drawn an angry response from the North.
The fact that Suarez admitted post-match that Sevilla had been the better side summed up what a wake-up call the game was for Barcelona. The Argentinean only played 30 minutes of Barca's 2-2 draw away to Sevilla on Saturday due to a groin injury, but showed how important he is as he led their fight back from 0-2 down, lifting their confidence the moment he stepped onto the pitch, reports Xinhua news agency.
10 - Roberto Firmino has been involved in 10 goals (seven scored, three assisted) in the Champions League this season - only Cristiano Ronaldo has been involved in more (14). He came on with just over half an hour remaining despite not being 100 percent. Neither did Busquets. Or even Iniesta. This is one of only three occasions in their European competition history that Roma have lost a game by a goal margin of more than five goals.
Di Francesco's men still had their chances, though, and could have at least been level before Barca scored twice in quick succession to move 3-0 in front and seemingly out of sight.
There may be some concern that he sat out Argentina's two friendlies last week but that just seemed like a precaution and though he started on the bench at the weekend, again that was just to make sure he was fully fit for this one.
The visitors are expected to be without Radja Nainggolan and Rick Karsdorp. He makes a difference every time he touches the ball."The last time Roma faced Barcelona was in the Champions League group stage in November 2015, with the Catalans registering a thumping 6-1 home win over the Italians".