UEFA Champions League: Messi reaches new milestone as Barcelona beat Liverpool

Messi celebrates as he scores for Barcelona against Manchester United
Messi celebrates as he scores for Barcelona against Manchester United

Lionel Messi scored his 600th goal for Barcelona with a stunning free-kick as the Catalan giants beat Liverpool 3-0 in their Champions League first leg semi-final tie at Camp Nou on Wednesday.

The Argentine began the night on 598 goals for the club across all competitions and brought up the unprecedented landmark figure with a crucial brace at the Camp Nou.

Messi is the first player in history to reach that figure for Barcelona and only the seventh player to have achieved the feat at club level.

The 31-year-old follows in the footsteps of Cristiano Ronaldo, Pele, Romario, Josef Bican, Gerd Muller and Ferenc Puskas in scoring 600 goals in their club career.

Before the Messi magic, ex-Liverpool striker Luis Suarez opened the scoring in the first half to end his unbelievable drought in the Champions League

Jurgen Klopp’s side, who were beaten finalists last year, will attempt to overturn their three-goal deficit at home next Tuesday.

Liverpool, who knocked out Porto in the quarter-finals, started the fixture well but fell behind after Suarez directed Jordi Alba’s inviting cross past Alisson.

The Reds pressed for an equaliser but Barcelona, now unbeaten in their last 32 Champions League home fixtures, stood firm.

And just when it looked as if the Reds were getting on top, Messi doubled Barcelona’s advantage after Suarez’s shot rebounded off the bar.

Messi added his second and Barca’s third with eight minutes remaining, beating Alisson with a stunning free-kick.

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Barcelona looked set to score a fourth late on as they counter-attacked from a Liverpool corner but Ousmane Dembele fluffed the chance.

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