Football La Liga

Why Lionel Messi will want to draw Liverpool in Champions League – if Barcelona get past Chelsea

Lionel Messi’s goal against Chelsea in midweek was the Argentine’s first against the Blues at the ninth time of asking.

He had famously never notched against the Londoners despite Barcelona being regularly paired with the Premier League side over the course of his Blaugrana career.

It further improved Messi’s staggering goal scoring statistics. He has now found the net against 71 of the 82 clubs he has faced with Barca.

And one of those 11 sides he hasn’t scored against is Liverpool.

Barcelona are far from certain of their place in the last eight of the Champions League having drawn 1-1 at Stamford Bridge earlier this week.

But they know if they can keep a clean sheet in the return leg at the Nou Camp they will book their quarter-final spot.

And Messi will be hoping for a shot at Liverpool, who hammered Porto 5-0 in the first leg of their last-16 tie, to further reduce the number of clubs.

Messi has played against Liverpool twice. He was just 19 when the two sides met each other in the last 16 of Europe’s premier competition.

Liverpool won the first leg 2-1 in Spain and, although they were beaten 1-0 at Anfield in the return fixture, progressed on away goals.

Messi failed to score in either game.

The other sides he hasn’t found the net against are Benfica, Rubin Kazan, Inter Milan, Udinese, Al-Sadd, Gramenet, Girona, Real Murcia, Zerez and Cardiz.

He will have the chance to remove Girona from that list when they visit the Nou Camp at the weekend.

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