Barcelona rolled over Bayern Munich 4-0 Wednesday in the first leg of the Champions League quarter-finals, and Chelsea came back to earn a 3-1 win at Liverpool.
Lionel Messi scored two goals and Samuel Eto'o and Thierry Henry added the others, all in the first half, as Barcelona gave itself a huge advantage heading into Tuesday's second leg in Munich.
In Liverpool, Branislav Ivanovic scored his first two goals for Chelsea and Didier Drogba added a third after Fernando Torres had given the host team the lead.
English rivals Liverpool and Chelsea are meeting in a Champions League knockout round for the fourth time in five years. Liverpool won the first two, but Chelsea advanced last year before losing the final to Manchester United.
The winner of each two-leg series will meet next month in the semifinals.
Messi, who has scored 32 goals in all competitions this season, gave Barcelona the lead in the ninth minute. Eto'o dragged two defenders away before passing to the Argentine winger, who coolly rolled it past goalkeeper Hans-Jorg Butt.
Messi then set up Eto'o for a nearly identical goal in the 13th after anticipating the Cameroon striker's run.
In the 38th, Messi redirected Henry's centring pass into the goal for his eighth in the competition. Henry rolled the final goal past Butt in the 43rd minute after Messi dropped the ball off for Eto'o and the ball fell to the French striker.
Messi, Eto'o and Henry have combined for 89 of Barcelona's 126 goals this season.
Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola wanted a penalty early in the first half after Christian Lell barged into Messi as he moved around the Bayern defender in the area, but referee Howard Webb declined.
Butt was playing in the Bayern goal instead of usual starter Michael Rensing.
Franck Ribery and Ze Roberto had Bayern's best chances, but the French winger sliced a shot wide and the Brazilian had his attempt blocked by Barcelona defender Carles Puyol.
Liverpool takes early lead
Liverpool attacked Chelsea from the outset at Anfield, but after taking the early lead, Chelsea's threat grew. Ivanovic soon raced in undetected between Martin Skrtel and Albert Riera and soared to meet Florent Malouda's corner for the equalizer in the 39th minute.
Chelsea nearly took the lead in the 51st but Jamie Carragher cleared a shot from Drogba off the line after the Ivory Coast striker had taken hold of Fabio Aurelio's back pass.
Ivanovic, however, replicated his first goal by beating Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina after rising to meet a corner from Frank Lampard in the 62nd minute.
Drogba tapped in the final goal in the 67th when Malouda released Michael Ballack, who squared the ball across the penalty area for the rushing Drogba.
In the second leg, Chelsea will be without captain John Terry. The central defender got a yellow card for running into Reina and will have to sit out the team's next match.
Liverpool had its chances, but Ivanovic diverted Dirk Kuyt's third-minute shot as it was heading into the top corner.
Torres then gave the host team the lead after Kuyt picked up possession and backheeled the ball to Alvaro Arbeloa, who crossed for the unmarked Spaniard to divert the ball into the bottom of Petr Cech's net.
On Tuesday, FC Porto scored a late equalizer to hold defending champion Manchester United to a 2-2 draw at Old Trafford, and Arsenal scored in the second half to earn a 1-1 draw at Villarreal.
The second legs will be played on Wednesday.
The final is scheduled for May 27 in Rome.