Messi double downs Liverpool

Barcelona’s Argentinian forward Lionel Messi (R) celebrates with Barcelona’s Spanish midfielder Sergi Roberto after scoring his team’s third goal during the UEFA Champions League semi-final first leg football match between Barcelona and Liverpool at the Camp Nou Stadium in Barcelona on May 1, 2019. (Photo by JAVIER SORIANO / AFP)

Lionel Messi put Barcelona to within touching distance of the Champions League final on Wednesday after firing a stunning brace to down Liverpool 3-0 at the Camp Nou.

Former Liverpool striker Luis Suarez opened the scoring midway through the opening half of the semi-final first leg before Messi struck twice in seven second half minutes to leave the Reds with a mountain to climb in the tie despite an impressive performance in Catalonia.

Messi’s second, an incredible long-range free-kick, was his 600th Barca goal in all competitions.

The two sides meet again on Tuesday for the decisive second leg at Anfield.

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