Sports

Magical Messi Too Hot to Handle for Liverpool

Lionel Messi’s late brace took him to 600 Barcelona goals and ensured the LaLiga club took charge of their Champions League semi-final tie against Liverpool with a 3-0 first-leg win.

Former Reds striker Luis Suarez, playing against his old club in a competitive game for the first time since he left for Catalonia in 2014, scored his first Champions League goal in over a year to give Barca a half-time advantage.

James Milner was twice denied by Marc-Andre ter Stegen in the second half – while Mohamed Salah was thwarted too – before Messi struck twice in seven minutes to bring up his milestone.

The first goal, a tap-in after Suarez had hit the crossbar, was followed by a brilliant 30-yard free-kick before Salah fired against the post with six minutes remaining as he missed a glorious chance to get a crucial away goal.

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