Lionel Messi discovered moving the ball from the fouled spot for his free-kick goal against Liverpool

The ball ended up inside the net with the swerve.
The ball ended up inside the net with the swerve.
Aditya Singh Kashyap

What's the story?

Lionel Messi was at his majestic best yesterday night, scoring a brace against Liverpool. He pinged a stunning free-kick for his second goal. Controversy has surrounded the Argentinian's set-piece brilliance, with him ostensibly relocating the ball few steps ahead of the fouled spot.

In case you didn't know...

FC Barcelona entertained Liverpool for the first leg of the Champions League semi-final at Camp Nou. The Catalans are one of the favorites to lift the UCL trophy this time and achieve the treble of trophies, third in the club's history.

Liverpool have taken rapid strides under Jurgen Klopp this season, strengthening their squad and matching Europe's elite. It was expected to be an even contest between the two sides, but Barcelona outplayed the Reds due to their experience at this level.

The first leg ended 3-0 in Barca's favor, and they are in the driver's seat to qualify for the finale.

The heart of the matter...

The foul-play, which led to the set-piece, was committed by Fabinho 35 yards away from goal. While Luis Suarez was talking to the referee Bjorn Kuipers, Messi relocated the ball more centrally and few yards closer to the target. The spot where the free-kick took flight was around 30 yards.

The red spot indicates the point of impact for the foul.
The red spot indicates the point of impact for the foul.
The yellow mark depicts the free-kick spot.
The yellow mark depicts the free-kick spot.

Altering the location gave Leo Messi a slight advantage, but the precision of the goal was the work of a talisman.

It was a questionable decision to judge the collision between Messi and Fabinho as a foul by the latter. The video clip below suggests otherwise.

The Barcelona team used the tactic of winning clever free-kicks by inducing fouls, eventually disrupting Liverpool's tempo. When asked about it, Jurgen responded by saying-

"They are obviously much more experienced.
"You saw that in moments when they wanted to stop our rhythm, stuff like that, going down, all that stuff, but it’s part of the game and we cannot change that."

What's next?

The Barca side faces Celta de Vigo away from home on Saturday as they try to consolidate their position as La Liga champions.

Liverpool make a trip to the Tyneside, dealing with their ex-manager, Rafa Benitez's Newcastle United side. The Reds seek their first league title in the Premier League history.

Paul Merson has predicted the results for Chelsea vs Tottenham and other GW 2 fixtures! Click here

Edited by Nnanna Mba


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