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2-min read

Haunted by Roma Debacle, Lionel Messi Warns Barcelona Liverpool Tie Not Yet Over

UEFA Champions League: Barcelona were cautious about celebrating the semi-final tie against Liverpool with their last year's exit at the hands of AS Roma still fresh.

Agencies

Updated:May 2, 2019, 10:26 AM IST
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Haunted by Roma Debacle, Lionel Messi Warns Barcelona Liverpool Tie Not Yet Over
Lionel Messi had said ahead of the season that he wants Barcelona to win the Champions League this season. (Photo Credit: Reuters)
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Barcelona: Lionel Messi warned his Barcelona teammates that their place in the Champions League final is still not certain despite his two-goal salvo in a 3-0 semi-final first leg win over Liverpool on Wednesday.

"It would have been better to win 4-0 than 3-0 but it is a very good result," said the Argentine star.

"It's not definitive, we are going to go into a very complicated atmosphere, with a great history."

Messi's second goal was the 600th of his Barca career and he reached the landmark in stunning style, majestically curling a free-kick into the top corner.

"It was beautiful when it went in but I was lucky that the ball lodged up there in the corner."

Messi refused to take all the plaudits for the win which also Luis Suarez score against his former club.

"We must be more united than ever, all together: the team, the fans.

"We said at the beginning of the season that we will win it together."

Valverde pointed to his team's sensational exit from last year's competition to AS Roma after a 4-1 cushion from the first leg and said they would be taking nothing for granted in Tuesday's return game at Anfield.

"We won't go there with precautions but experience must count for something," said Valverde, whose side exited last year's competition after losing 3-0 at Roma.

"We saw how Liverpool manage games and the pace with which they play, and we cannot forget that we can't afford to feel extra confident. The tie is still open and we haven't got through yet."

Liverpool had scored seven goals in their last two Champions League away games against Bayern Munich and Porto and despite falling behind to a strike from their former forward Suarez, they showed huge ambition in attack.

"We cannot lie, it's always a good result when you win and your opponent doesn't score, but we suffered, there are still 90 minutes to go and while we were able to score they could have done so too," Valverde added.

"They were better than us for some spells and we know what awaits us over there.

"I see a team that has the ability to make any team suffer. Last year we had a three-goal advantage and we were knocked out. We've picked up a great result but the tie isn't over."

Barca midfielder Arturo Vidal also expects Liverpool to put up a fight at Anfield.

"We had to suffer a lot tonight and we coped well with it but there are still 90 minutes to go and we have to finish the job over there," the Chilean said.

"We have to respect Liverpool a lot because they are a great team and we're convinced that things will be much harder over at their place than tonight."
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