Liverpool fans have created a petition in an attempt to get Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi banned for the second leg of their Champions League semi final.
They claim the little Argentinian punched Reds midfielder Fabinho when winning the free kick which led to Barca’s third goal of the night, with Messi himself stepping up to score with a remarkable strike from 35 yards.
(Some) Liverpool supporters feel aggrieved that the decision did not go their way and now want UEFA to retrospectively ban Messi from the second leg – looking to gain the governing body’s attention by starting an online petition.
This has already been signed by more than 7,000 people after being posted by user ‘Messi AFraud’ who wrote on the page: “So basically Messi gets a freekick for punching Fabinho in the head and scores it, I feel like this needs to be looked at by UEFA.”
UEFA, of course, will not review the incident and Barca boss Ernesto Valverde can rest easy knowing his most important player will be available for the return leg at Anfield.
Despite having a three-goal advantage, Barcelona will know that the tie is not over having surrendered a similar lead to Roma in last year’s quarter-final, getting knocked out on away goals despite securing a 4-1 win in the first leg. Liverpool, of course, do not have an away goal.
Messi has warned his teammates that the result at the Camp Nou may not be enough and they face a tough test to make it through on Merseyside in front of Liverpool’s vociferous support.
The 31-year-old said: “It could have been a better result, [but] it’s very good. [Now] we go to a difficult ground, with a great history where the fans really push.”
However, having picked up such a commanding lead, Messi will be confident of getting to his fifth Champions League final on Tuesday night. And despite Liverpool fans’ best efforts, he will be on the Anfield pitch to help his team get there.