Lionel Messi: Barcelona star accused of PUNCHING Liverpool star Fabinho before goal

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Lionel Messi at his brilliant best as Barcelona thumped Liverpool 3-0 in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final.

The Argentina international scored a brace at the Nou Camp after team-mate Luis Suarez had fired the hosts in front.

And Messi’s second goal made the headlines with the Barcelona star scoring a terrific free-kick to ensure they go into the return fixture at Anfield with a healthy lead.

However, some fans on social media after claiming the 31-year-old’s second goal of the night should not have stood.

They claim he punched Fabinho, who conceded the free-kick that led to Barcelona’s third goal.

Footage shows Messi did appear to run into the Brazil international, rather than the other way around.

He seems to throw an arm wildly but the referee instead chose to book Fabinho and award a free-kick.

Liverpool fans on Twitter have been discussing the incident with many claiming Messi deliberately threw an arm.

“So Messi punches Fabinho and that’s how he got the free kick,” said one.

“Messi really punched Fabinho, little sneaky rat,” said another.

“Messi fully punched Fabinho then dived to win a foul, stole 5 yards on the resulting freekick that then deflected off of Gomez in the top corner. This is futbol,” a third chipped in with.

“Still can’t believe Barca got a free-kick cos Messi punched Fabinho in the head!!” added a fourth.

Messi, meanwhile, has hit out at Barcelona fans who booed Philippe Coutinho against Liverpool.

“We are in a defining moment and it is not time to criticize anyone,” he told Movistar Plus following Wednesday’s victory.

“It is time to make everything happen as we talked at the beginning of the season.

“It is ugly to see a team-mate get booed like that.

“We must all be together and support.”

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