Lionel Messi has warned Barcelona that they can’t be complacent ahead of the second leg of their Champions League semi-final tie with Liverpool.
The Catalan giants secured a 3-0 win over the Reds at the Nou Camp on Wednesday night, giving them a healthy lead heading into the second meeting at Anfield next week.
It could have been even better had Ousmane Dembele not spurned a glorious late chance to make it 4-0, although it could be argued that the result wasn’t a fair reflection of the encounter given Liverpool enjoyed plenty of possession and had their chances.
However, the key difference was that Barcelona took theirs, particularly Messi who scored an exquisite free-kick to double his tally on the night, but the Argentine icon is adamant that the tie is not over and has warned Barcelona to avoid believing it is.
“We were so close to the fourth goal at the end. The 3-0 is a very good result but it’s not definite because we are going to a great stadium where the crowd will really get behind their team,” he is quoted as saying by the Daily Mail.
Barcelona will have demons to exercise this year as after securing a 4-1 win over Roma in the first leg of their quarter-final tie last season, they suffered a 3-0 defeat in the Italian capital which sent them crashing out.
It would have to be an even bigger defeat this time round given that they didn’t concede an away goal, but ultimately the message remains the same and Messi is evidently keen to ensure that they’ve learnt their lessons from that experience and don’t let it happen again.
Time will tell if Liverpool can muster up another European classic at Anfield, but the odds are certainly stacked against them, especially if Messi is capable of producing another moment of world-class quality as seen this week and against Man Utd in the last round.