UEFA Champions League: Lionel Messi Puts His Stamp on Real Madrid vs. Barcelona
Lionel Messi etched his name into the El Clasico record books with a second-half performance for the ages to put Barcelona in a commanding position over Real Madrid in their UEFA Champions League semifinal tilt on Wednesday night.
Messi scored twice to give Barcelona two crucial away goals and take a commanding 2-0 aggregate lead heading into Tuesday's return leg at the Camp Nou.
Messi slotted home a cross from Ibrahim Affellay in the 74th minute and scored on a brilliant 1 vs. 5 solo effort in the 82nd minute to put the 10-man Madrid away for good.
The Argentine winger had yet to score a goal in 10 previous matches against Jose Mourinho-coached teams.
Madrid will have to overcome a two-goal deficit in next week's tie also without the services of Sergio Ramos, who received an automatic suspension for yellow-card accumulation and Pepe, who was shown a straight red card for a sloppy tackle in the second half.
Barcelona would reach their second final in three years and third in six years if they are to hold off Madrid.
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