Lionel Messi’s two second-half goals – including a stunning free-kick – earned Barcelona a handsome advantage and left Liverpool with an almighty task in their Champions League semi-final.
The Reds were in the ascendancy despite going behind to Luis Suarez’s first-half strike – but they were then hit by a double sucker-punch from the Barcelona number 10.
The Argentine forward’s first was instinctive, as he followed up Suarez’s shot that came off the bar, but the second was majestic as he found Alisson’s top-right corner from 25 yards out. That was his 600th goal for the Spanish giants.
Liverpool came agonisingly close to a potentially crucial away goal when Roberto Firmino’s strike was cleared off the line, before Salah somehow struck the post rather than scoring with the follow-up.
Barcelona’s Ousmane Dembele should have put the tie out of the Premier League side’s reach in the closing seconds, but he scuffed it straight at Alisson from a few yards out.