Champions League: Lionel Messi magic puts Barcelona in control of semi-final against Liverpool

Lionel Messi has put Barcelona on the verge of the Champions League final by scoring twice in a 3-0 home win over Liverpool in the first leg of theri semi-final on Thursday (NZ time). 

The Argentine magician bagged his 600th goal in Barcelona colours with a phenomenal long-range free-kick eight minutes from time.         

Former Liverpool striker Luis Suarez reminded the visitors of his clinical finishing by splitting a tense and finely-balanced game at the Nou Camp in the 26th minute.         

Juergen Klopp's side went on to carve out a number of chances but spurning them all.  

Barca captain Messi scored the all-important second goal in the 75th minute, chesting the ball down on the rebound and dribbling it over the line after Suarez found the crossbar with a shot off his knee.            

The Argentine then added to Barca's already huge advantage to take into next Tuesday's second leg at Anfield by scoring his milestone goal in style, smashing into the top corner with a sizzling free kick in the 82nd minute.