England’s big clubs have come up against the brilliant little Argentinian and have enjoyed few successes when the great man is on the pitch for Barcelona.
His record against Premier League sides today stands at 26 goals in 33 appearances.
Arsenal have seen him score nine times in six games.
Chelsea have faced him and conceded three, Manchester City six in six.
Spurs were introduced to him in this season’s Champions League group stage and he scored twice in two matches, while Manchester United have suffered the most at his left boot - with four goals in six meetings.
Those goals came in the Champions League finals of 2009 and 2011, while he also knocked them out in the previous round of this season’s competition.
All the while, Liverpool fans have chilled out on the couch and watched him wreak carnage against their rivals, laughing.
But not any more. Today they know.
His two second-half goals took him to a 600 goals for Barcelona.
And if they don’t improve in the second leg next week, they will be just another team in his wake.
And how about that second strike?
You don’t see many free kicks as perfect as that one.
What’s even more stinging, is that up until he tapped in from a rebound in the 75th minute, Jurgen Klopp’s manne had done a job on him.
They had kept the five-time world Player of the Year quiet, tackled him, harried him into dead ends and moered him off the ball.
But in the end, Messi shone through.
Liverpool can feel a little hard done by after causing Barca so many problems on their home patch.
However, the 3-0 scoreline speaks louder about their own shortcomings than about Messi’s enduring genius.
Liverpool edged Barca in the possession stakes - 49 to 51 percent - no mean feat against the masters of tiki-taka.
But it’s the fact that they didn’t take the numerous chances they created.
Of the 13 shots they had, eight were on target.
James Milner had two great chances to get an away goal, while Sadio Mane blew it when he got through on goal. Then there was Mo Salah who hit the post with the goal at his mercy.
For a campaign that promised so much, it looks like Klopp and his players and everyone in the You Never Walk Alone gang are set for another nearly season.