LIONEL MESSI scored a sensational free-kick as Barcelona thrashed Liverpool 3-0 in the first-leg of their Champions League semi-final.
But should it have stood?
Fabinho blocked off Lionel Messi as he played a one-two with Luis Suarez But replays show Messi appearing to throw a punch at Fabinho’s head Messi was given the decision and Fabinho was booked – with the Barca icon scoring from the free-kick
Eagle-eyed viewers believe referee Bjorn Kuipers made a massive error in giving Barcelona the free-kick from which the Argentine maestro fired in an unbelievable third.
Fabinho appeared to block off Barcelona’s No10 as Luis Suarez and Messi looked to play a one-two in the Liverpool half.
It was obstruction by the Brazilian midfielder – but as the Barca superstar jumps out of the way, footage shows him seemingly throwing his left fist into Fabinho’s head.
The Liverpool man crumples to the floor in pain, while Messi also goes down to win the free-kick.
Referee Kuipers must have missed the punch to give the free-kick to Barca and even decided to show Fabinho a yellow card.
What came next was a truly special strike from Messi, beating Alisson in the Liverpool goal to score his 600th Barcelona goal from just 683 matches.
Liverpool fans were left furious with the decision, with dozens of fans calling for him to face retrospective action.
One has even started a petition.
Jurgen Klopp could only grin when Lionel Messi scored his stunning free-kick
One fan has even set up a petition to get Messi a retrospective ban for the punch
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One user asked “where was VAR?” while another joked: “Only Messi can punch a player, win a free-kick and then proceed to score from 30 yards.”
Real Madrid fans also commented on the incident, with one fan calling them “VARcelona.”
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp couldn’t help but smile when Messi scored, calling him “unstoppable.”
The German said on Wednesday night: “In these moments [Messi] is unstoppable.
“We couldn’t defend the free kick. What a strike.
“The second goal was probably not the nicest in the career of Lionel Messi but it shows his skills that he is even there in that moment.
Jurgen Klopp praises ‘outstanding’ Lionel Messi and admits he is already fearing their counter attacks at Anfield
“Apart from that I was happy in how we defended the whole Barcelona team. I am a big admirer of them, as is everybody, but my boys didn’t show too much respect, they were there every time.
“We played football and I liked that.
“I knew before that Lionel was a world‑class player and now I saw it again I am not too surprised.”
Getty – Contributor
Fabinho is shown a yellow card by referee Bjorn Kuipers
Messi scored his 600th Barcelona goal with a brilliant free-kick