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02 May 2019, 02:54 IST

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Barcelona v Liverpool – UEFA Champions League Semi Final: First LegWhat’s the story?Barcelona captain Lionel Messi scored a brace to take his club goal tally to 600, during the Catalan giants’ thumping 3-0 win over Premier League outfit Liverpool in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final fixture at Camp Nou.In case you didn’t know…Liverpool succumbed to a 3-0 defeat at the hands of the Liga champions as Luis Suarez and Messi found the back of the net to secure an incredible advantage for the hosts.Both teams had previously comfortably cruised into the semi-finals of Europe’s elite competition last month. While the Blaugrana coasted to a 4-0 aggregate win over Manchester United, Liverpool secured a big 6-1 victory over Porto.Ahead of the clash, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp hailed the Argentine maestro as the best player in the world saying, “Messi would be the player at number one. Cristiano Ronaldo is in that for sure but the rest we have to see.””I coached a few good players but they didn’t finish their careers yet. I didn’t see Pele live but there are a lot of good players. Lionel Messi is for me the best.”The heart of the matterMessi’s decisive brace against Liverpool marked his 599th and 600th club goals, a milestone that longstanding rival Cristiano Ronaldo had only recently achieved.A five-time Ballon d’Or winner, Messi now boasts of an overall goal tally of 48 in all competitions so far this season. He is also well on course to win a record sixth La Liga Golden Shoe with 34 goals to his name.What’s next?Liverpool now have a mammoth task at hand if they are to harbour any hopes of progressing to their second consecutive final in the Champions League. The Reds are scheduled to host Barcelona for the second leg of their semi-final fixture on May 7.

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