- Lionel Messi scored a brilliant brace to inspire Barcelona to a 3-0 win over Liverpool in the Champions League
- The vital win saw the La Liga Champions inch closer to sealing a place in the finals of the European tournament
- Messi has however criticized Barcelona fans for their treatment on Philippe Coutinho
Barcelona captain Lionel Messi has expressed his displeasure with the club's fans over their treatment of Philippe Coutinho during Champions League win over Liverpool at the Camp Nou.
Messi scored a brace during the first leg of the semi final tie, including a sensational free-kick late in the second half to gift his side a crucial win over the Premier League club.
Liverpool dominated proceedings in the opening exchanges of the clash played at Camp Nou, forcing the hosts to rethink their system and formation.
Coutinho had been deployed alongside Messi and Suarez to lead the attack-line, but the Brazilian was unimpressive, leading to his substitution on the hour mark.
The substitution was marked with a chorus of boos and jeers from the home fans, who openly expressed their resentment with Coutinho's performance.
But the fans' reaction did not go down well with Messi, who is understood to be close friends with the former Liverpool player.
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Speaking moments after full-time, the Argentine ace termed observed the team and players need to remain united as they pursue European glory.
"This is a time when we have to be more united than ever, both as players and fans," UK Metro quoted Messi.
"This is something we have to achieve together and it is not the moment to criticize anybody. It is ugly to see [the crowd] treat a team-mate like that," he added.
Meanwhile, Barcelona now take a healthy three goals advantage ahead of the second leg of the tie scheduled for Tuesday, May 7, at Anfield.
Earlier, Legit.ng had reported how Barcelona hammered Liverpool 3-0 on Wednesday night, May 1, at Camp Nou in a tough Champions League semi-final first leg showdown.
In the opening minutes of the game, the both sides eager to dictate the pace with good display of football skills, but as the match progressed Liverpool came more into the contest.
Luis Suarez scored the first goal for Barcelona against his former club before Lionel Messi scored a brace.
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