Spanish champions, Barcelona, are on the brink of a return to the UEFA Champions League, UCL, final after a Lionel Messi brace earned them a 3-0 victory over Liverpool at the Camp Nou on Wednesday.
Messi scored his 600th goal for Barcelona in the space of seven second half minutes to hand the Spanish side a commanding lead heading into next week second leg tie at Anfield.
Both teams produced remarkable attacking performance but it was Barcelona who broke the deadlock through Luis Suarez whose brilliantly stretched foot guided a superb pass from Jordi Alba into the Liverpool net to put Barca 1-0 ahead at the break.
Liverpool came close to an equaliser through Sadio Mane, but the Senegalese failed to keep his composure as he skied the ball way off the mark.
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Despite coming close a number of times via James Milner, Mohamed Salah, who hit the post and forced Marc-Andre Ter Stegen into a couple of excellent saves, they were made to regret those chances as Messi struck twice.
Messi’s first was a tap in, after Suarez rattled the Liverpool post, before he completed the rout with a sublime free kick.
Barcelona finally defeat Liverpool after five matches, with the win tonight taking their unbeaten run at home to 32 matches, a European record.
Speaking moments after the match, Liverpool boss, Jurgen Klopp said;
“The performance was really good, the boys played a super game. Against a side like Barcelona, a few moments are enough to give them the opportunity. I’m really happy with the performance – not too happy with the result, but we have to take that.”
The second leg comes up next week Tuesday at Anfield, with Liverpool having a mountain to climb.