Vintage Lionel Messi provides yet another reminder of his greatness


Mauricio Pochettino dismissed the notion that two-goal hero Lionel Messi dismantled Tottenham, the Spurs boss instead lamenting Hugo Lloris' early mistake against Barcelona in their Champions League defeat.

Messi, who scored for Barca in the 2011 final against Manchester United at Wembley, revelled in the wide-open spaces and twice sliced through the Spurs defence shortly after the break, thudding shots against Lloris's right post.

Powering into the Barca area with intent, Kane side-stepped Nelson Semedo and planted a powerful low strike into the far corner for his 10th goal in 12 Champions League appearances.

"This guy, what he does on the football pitch, is just ridiculous".

Messi would not miss again, though, sending Alba clear down the left with a trademark curling pass and timing his run into the box perfectly to slot a first-time finish past Lloris to restore Barca's two-goal lead four minutes later.

Following Lionel Messi's incredible individual display in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday night, an FC Barcelona teammate of his has heaped praise on the Argentine. He's the best player in the world, and it'll be nice to play against him. Marc-Andre ter Stegen came up with a big save in the first half and, generally speaking, you can assume they'd still win plenty of games even if they conceded an average of one per game due to the prowess of their attack.

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Personal honours have been a hot topic this season, with Messi and former Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo having dominated the Ballon d'Or over the last decade, but challengers like Modric making a strong case to win more awards in 2018. "When he's in that form, he's magic to watch".

At Wembley, as rightly predicted, there was plenty of goals to savour and Messi was in the thick of a lot of them. I have not seen him in a long time.

A late Messi goal sealed a game which was in the balance up until the dying minutes.

Kane did his job, as he usually does, in holding the ball up and trying to bring others into play, but when he dropped deeper to lay balls off, neither Eriksen or Alli were there to link up with him.

He scored one on that occasion, but he made it two against Spurs by burying a chance following another Suarez dummy in the 90th minute.

Champions League football by February?