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[Awards Review]








▶ Messi and Suarez inspire Barça to first-leg win [2019/05/05   ]

Lionel Messi scored twice and reached the remarkable milestone of 600 goals for Barcelona as the Argentinian superstar led them to a 3-0 victory over Liverpool in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League semi-finals.

Former Liverpool striker Luis Suarez opened the scoring in the 26th minute when he latched on to the end of a low cross sent in by Jordi Alba and flicked in a shot past a helpless Alisson. Rather surprisingly, it was Suarez's first goal of this Champions League campaign.

Liverpool peppered Marc-Andre ter Stegen's goal with decent efforts early in the second half, twice from James Milner and another from Mohamed Salah.

However, Barça's superstar rose to the occasion and scored two goals late on—in the 75th and 82nd minutes, respectively—to give his side a seemingly-insurmountable lead in the two-legged tie.

His first goal on the evening showcased his knack for being in the right place at the right time, as he controlled the ball after Suarez had hit the crossbar with a thigh shot, and calmly slotted it in an empty net.

The second was the showstopper. Messi curled in a trademark free-kick for his second on the night and the 600th of his Barça career on the same date that he scored his first ever goal for the club.

The second leg will be played in Liverpool at Anfield on 7 May, with the winner facing either Ajax or Tottenham Hotspur in the final on 1 June. Ajax have a 1-0 aggregate lead in the tie.

    Barcelona (W29-D3-L0) are on a Champions League record run of 32 consecutive home fixtures unbeaten, since a 3-0 defeat by Bayern Munich in the semi-final second leg on this exact day in 2013
    Jurgen​ Klopp has progressed from each of his previous European Cup semi-finals, with Borussia Dortmund in the 2012/13 Champions League and with Liverpool in the 2015/16 UEFA Europa League and the 2017/18 Champions League
    Barcelona fielded their oldest starting XI in the Champions League era with an average age of 29 years and 210 days
    Barcelona have not trailed this entire Champions League season
    Messi is the 2018/19 Champions League top goalscorer with 12 goals—the closest player on a team still in the competition is Dusan Tadic with six

- The origianl text resource is from FIFA Official Website

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