Maestro Messi lights up Wembley as Barca sink Spurs

Maestro Messi lights up Wembley as Barca sink Spurs

Injury-hit Tottenham faced an uphill task against the five-times European champions once Philippe Coutinho scored after two minutes and when Ivan Rakitic's breathtaking volley made it 2-0 before halftime a hammering looked on the cards. He plays at another level, he scores goals, he provides assists, he runs as much as the most. He started the move, playing the ball out wide to Jordi Alba, whose cross was dummied by Coutinho and Luis Suarez before arriving on Messi's left foot. I have not seen him in a long time.

After the game was over, Messi and Lamela had a catch-up - having played together for the Argentine national team - and the Spurs ace, who also scored on the night, made sure to get a souvenir for his dad.

That is what happened at Wembley where the other players also came to the fore, and they got the scoring underway against Tottenham before Messi put the icing on the cake in the second half.

But although second-half strikes from Harry Kane and Erik Lamela gave Spurs hope of salvaging something from this game, Barcelona held on for the victory.

Winks made five Champions League appearances for Spurs last season on their run to the last-16 where they were eliminated by Juventus, and the 22-year-old England worldwide, who broke into the first team at White Hart Lane in 2016, has relished the opportunity to learn from Europe's finest as Tottenham seek to establish themselves as a regular presence on the continent. He has five goals in two UCL games this season, at a rate of one goal every 36 minutes.

In recent weeks there have been murmurs that Barcelona have been struggling after three games without a win in La Liga.

In their Group B opener last month, Spurs suffered a 2-1 loss to Inter Milan.

Some ‘care more than others’ about Man Utd crisis - Mourinho
United's accounts last week revealed an 11 per cent rise in their wage bill, taking it to £295.9m, £36m more than City's. The reason I say that is purely down to the fact Liverpool have a more settled back five this season.

The Catalan giants got off to a ideal start as an error in judgment from Hugo Lloris allowed Jordi Alba to pick out Philippe Coutinho for the simple tap-in.

It took Messi less than two minutes to show reports of Barca's demise were greatly exaggerated. But what the scoreline did do was set the stage for a pulsating second-half.

Rakitic stole the spotlight midway through the first half when the Croatia midfielder struck with a thunderous half-volley.

Messi and Co. have been written off by many already, and after going three years without winning the Champions League, they will have to clean up their defensive deficiencies to have a real chance of winning it all in Madrid in May.

Mauricio Pochettino's side meanwhile are third but six points behind Barcelona and second-placed Inter Milan, and face a hard task to progress to the knockout stages.

But the damage was done due to defensive errors from Lloris and Sanchez as they badly missed Vertonghen's calming influence and Dembele's presence in front of the back four.

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