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Champions League: Lionel Messi takes over, leads Barcelona over Liverpool

By
Alex Butler
Barcelona's Leo Messi scored on a deep free kick for his team's third goal in a win against Liverpool in the Champions League semifinals on Wednesday in Barcelona. Photo by Alberto Estevez/EPA-EFE
Barcelona's Leo Messi scored on a deep free kick for his team's third goal in a win against Liverpool in the Champions League semifinals on Wednesday in Barcelona. Photo by Alberto Estevez/EPA-EFE

May 1 (UPI) -- Lionel Messi scored twice in seven minutes to lead Barcelona to a 3-0 win over Liverpool in the first leg of a Champions League semifinal matchup on Wednesday in Barcelona.

His second score was an absolute golazo.

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Barcelona led 1-0 after the first half, getting first blood from Luis Suarez in the 26th minute. The home squad doubled its lead in the 75th minute when Messi tapped in a rebound of a Luis Suarez shot that hit the crossbar.

Then came the booming bender from Messi's left boot.

Barcelona was awarded a free-kick from more than 30 yards out after a challenge from Liverpool's Fabinho. Messi stepped up to the ball and launched a bending attempt toward the top left corner. The rip sailed over a diving Alisson and into the net, giving Barcelona a 3-0 lead.

Messi and Barcelona battle Liverpool in the second leg of the semifinals matchup at 3 p.m. on Tuesday at Anfield in Liverpool, England. The winner of the semifinals series battles Tottenham or Ajax in the Champions League final.

Messi now has 600 goals during his Barcelona career.

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