Custom Search 1

Messi night for Spurs at Wembley

AWESOME: Lionel Messi was at his magical best against Spurs

THE NIGHT belonged to Lionel Messi and Barcelona. Would there be any doubt to the contrary? Tottenham's hopes of securing those first Champions League group B points were dealt a mortal blow within two minutes when Philippe Countinho finished after the returning Hugo Lloris came out rushing off his line.

His worry? Messi raked a deep ball out to the left wing for Jordi Alba. His cut back nullified Lloris now close to his 18 yard line for a great pass to Coutinho to take a touch before firing in the opener for Barcelona. Lloris looked stunned, and bar for a small but vocal corner of Wembley where the Catalan fans were housed, so were the majority of the fans inside the stadium.

Spurs efforts to counter were met with resistance from a defensive line up of Gerard Pique, Alba, Clement Lenglet and Nelson Semedo in particular who had the measure of Heung-Min Son every time the South Korean ventured in attack. Harry Kane cut a frustrated figure and just before the half hour mark, that frustration increased with a stunner from Ivan Rakitic.

Messi found Luis Suarez who then fed Coutinho. The former Liverpool striker, hit the woodwork, but having raced away to keep the ball alive, managed to pull the ball back from corner line, into the path of Rakitic . The Croatian arched low over the ball to volley in almost shoulder height from 20 yards. It was perhaps the best goal one could ever wish to see.

Spurs were shocked. Out played, out thought and out fought, Barcelona went in search of more, twice Messi saw shots come back off the post, but dramatically, Kane was on hand to give Spurs hope by reducing the deficit.

Having switched with Son, Kane was giving Semedo more to think about. Kane cut in then stopped before shifting the ball to hit low past Marc-Andre Ter Stegen. Suddenly Wembley woke up and the noise levels urging a Spurs leveller became deafening.

Lucas Moura almost got Spurs' level when he cut through the Barcelona defence, yet somehow his shot was deflected for a corner. However the Catalan side were soon at it again with Alba again the architect. Messi struck to make it 3-1 after a sweeping left to right move. Alba's cross, was left by Coutniho then Suarez who instinctively knew Messi would be there. He was, and he tucked home to beat Lloris again.

Still Spurs found a way to reduce the arrears. Erik Lamella struck, and his effort went beyond ter Stegen via a Lenglet deflection as the home side now found themselves only 2-3 down.

With time running out, Spurs sensed a hitherto unlikely comeback. They went in desperate search of an equaliser, however, the phenomenon that is Messi would have the final say.

Substitute Moussa Sissoko mis-controlled deep in his half and that let in Alba. The wing back sent over a cross which Suarez let go knowing that Messi was behind him.

He was. The Argentine had time to send Lloris the wrong way from ten yards out with his low shot to complete a magical Messi night at Wembley for Barcelona.

There was applause all around Wembley at the final whistle and rightly so. We had been privileged to have witnessed a Messi master class. Barcelona now top Group B with six point, while Spurs who also lost at Inter Milan two weeks ago remain pointless.

Mauricio Pochettino reflected on the night's proceedings, while praising his fellow Argentine Messi's performance.

"It was a tough game. When you concede in less than two minutes, it changes completely everything, the emotion becomes tough when you are playing against Barcelona and players like Messi and Suarez.

"That is why I want to congratulate the team, because we were always in the game, always fighting, never giving up - I feel so proud. I'm disappointed with the result but the effort was massive.

"But to give that advantage to a team like Barcelona is so difficult to come back from. The most important thing was our character."

Subscribe to The Voice database!

We'd like to keep in touch with you regarding our daily newsletter, Voice competitions, promotions and marketing material and to further increase our reach with The Voice readers.

If interested, please click the below button to complete the subscription form.

We will never sell your data and will keep it safe and secure.

For further details visit our privacy policy.

You have the right to withdraw at any time, by clicking 'Unsubscribe'.

Facebook Comments