Well, if Liverpool supporters knew the recap was going to start like that, they might not have tuned into the first leg of the UEFA Champions League semifinal against Barcelona on Wednesday.
Messi scored twice, including a breathtaking free kick, after Luis Suarez netted early in a 3-0 win over the Reds at the Camp Nou.
Liverpool was quite good in the second half, and the score line flattered to deceive the hosts, but there is no doubting the Reds are behind the 8-ball.
Liverpool was hit with an injury and then with a deficit, as Naby Keita pulled up with a groin injury before Barcelona took the lead.
Jordi Alba’s curling pass from the left was deftly finished by Suarez, the ex-Liverpool man cutting between Joel Matip and Virgil Van Dijk to flash the ball inside the near post as Alisson Becker flailed to find only air.
First half xG map for Barcelona – Liverpool
Fantastic up and down game, the halftime narrative is very different if Mane buries his chance running in behind like Suarez did his pic.twitter.com/anCiIv4x6Y
— Michael Caley (@MC_of_A) May 1, 2019
A fantastic piece of work from Jordan Henderson nearly cued up an equalizer, but Sadio Mane‘s effort to snap a first touch shot past Ter Stegen sailed over the bar.
The first quality shot of the second half came from Mohamed Salah, who drilled a low shot through traffic which was pawed out for a corner kick.
And the Reds were certainly the better money to score in the second half, which will mean very little considering Barca netted next.
Barcelona made it 2-0 through Messi, who started a dribble through the middle that popped into the path of Suarez. The Uruguayan used his thigh to redirect the ball off the cross bar, and Messi was quicker than Van Dijk at reacting to the rebound.
If that goal was easy, then this one, well, just watch it.
My word, Lionel Messi. Simply stunning free kick at a pivotal time in the game.
The GOAT delivers once again. Amazing. Sensational. Astonishing.
What a goal.
— Joe Prince-Wright (@JPW_NBCSports) May 1, 2019
That’s scintillating stuff from the best player in the world, who may just be the actual GOAT.
Liverpool nearly climbed back into it with a pivotal away goal, but the Blaugranas goal line clearance onto the path of Salah was clanked off the post.