Messi slams Philippe Coutinho critics following Liverpool win

Lionel Messi has called out critics of team mate Philippe Coutinho following his match winning display against Liverpool in the Champions League semi final. 

Coutinho was substituted after 60 minutes against his old club, as Ernesto Valverde looked to shore up his side by bringing on defender Nelson Semedo for the last half an hour.

Not for the first time this season, Coutinho was whistled by the home fans as he left the pitch, with some sections of the Camp Nou unhappy with his performance against Jurgen Klopp's side – however Messi has defended the Brazilian international.

"This is a time when we need to be more united than ever. ]

"That includes both players and fans as we approach the end of the season.

"This is not a time to criticise anyone, and the whistles against Coutinho were ugly to hear." 

Messi reached 600 club goals with a spectacular late free kick for the home side, giving them a 3-0 advantage ahead of the return trip to Anfield next week .

However, Messi is mindful of the three goal lead they let slip from last season's first leg against Roma.

"The tie is not dead yet as we must go to a very historic stadium and that will demand a lot from us."

Tags Lionel Messi Philippe Coutinho