Mark Lawrenson tells Liverpool how to take on Barcelona's Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi of Barcelona celebrates after scoring his team's first goal during the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final second leg match between FC Barcelona and Manchester United at Camp...

Messi and his Barcelona teammates will come to Anfield to face the Reds of Jurgen Klopp in the Champions League semi-final second leg.

Lionel Messi of Barcelona celebrates after scoring his team's first goal during the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final second leg match between FC Barcelona and Manchester United at Camp...

Liverpool legend Mark Lawrenson has given his opinion on how the Reds should play against Barcelona in their Champions League semi-final second leg in order to thwart the threat of Lionel Messi.

Jurgen Klopp's charges face the Blaugrana at Anfield on Tuesday with a mountain to climb as the visitors lead 3-0 from the first leg at Camp Nou, the Argentina talisman delivering a great performance complete with two goals.

 

In the 75th minute of the second half in Barcelona, Messi was in the right place at the right time as he slotted home after Luis Suarez had hit the bar, and seven minutes later he curled a free kick into the top corner of the net - his 600th goal for the club.

Lawrenson, who used to play in defence for Liverpool, admitted in his BBC Sport column that overturning the first-leg result and reaching the Champions League final would be their greatest result ever, given the magnitude of the task ahead.

Football pundit Mark Lawrenson looks on before the npower Championship game between Cardiff City and Queens Park Rangers at Cardiff City Stadium on April 23, 2011 in Cardiff, Wales.

On the subject of stopping Messi, Lawrenson - who played for Liverpool over 350 times in the 1980s - wrote: "To do that, they will need to play in Barcelona's half as much as possible because, as brilliant as Messi is, I haven't seen him score from his own half yet.

"If Liverpool do manage to get some control of the game, and see lots of the ball in Barca's territory, then it is possible that they can negate Messi a bit. But, even if that works, you just know there will be a spell in the game where he will come alive and then it will be a case of 'hang on to your hats'."

As well as having a three-goal deficit to try and overcome, Liverpool are also without Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino, while Barca could afford to rest most of their first team against Celta Vigo in La Liga, having already wrapped up the title.

Lionel Messi of Barcelona scores his sides third goal from a free kick during the UEFA Champions League Semi Final first leg match between Barcelona and Liverpool at the Nou Camp on May 01,...

Have something to tell us about this article?

Register for LIVERPOOL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch