Tottenham sealed their second loss from two games in this season’s Champions League campaign after a Lionel Messi masterclass at Wembley. The Argentinian winger scored twice in the second half and was involved in the other two goals for Barcelona as they survived two scared from the hosts.
Messi Masterclass at Wembley Against Tottenham
Hectic Half an Hour
The Lionel Messi masterclass started after just two minutes for Barcelona. His exquisite ball forward to Jordi Alba is closed down by Spurs keeper Hugo Lloris, who raced out to the corner of the box towards Barca’s left-back. Alba just managed to play the ball back to Philippe Coutinho and, after taking a touch to compose himself, the former Liverpool man smashed passed the back-tracking Toby Alderweireld, who did his best to cover the open goal left by Lloris.
Although not as heavily involved, Messi had a role in his side’s second too. He played the ball into Luis Suarez, whose pass to Coutinho was just kept in by the Brazillian. Coutinho bounced the ball back to the edge of the area and Ivan Rakitic struck a flying volley past Lloris that went in off the post.
Having held out until half-time with just the two-goal disadvantage, Tottenham would have wanted to come out firing in the second half. To do that, though, you have to keep tabs on players like Messi and, for the first ten minutes of the second period, they failed to do that.
The Argentinian picked up the ball shortly inside the Spurs half and raced and the retreating Spurs defence. Once he reached the edge of the area, he caressed a beautiful effort towards the corner, but it struck the post and Spurs managed to clear. About two minutes later, Messi tried the exact same run and shout again – the same result. Barcelona could have added two goals to their tally within ten minutes of the half beginning, and they almost lived to rue the misses.
On their next attack after the second Messi miss, Spurs managed to pull a goal back through their main man. Harry Kane picked up the ball from Son Heung-min and looked to go on the outside of Nelson Semedo. Instead, he cut inside and curled a lovely effort around Semedo and beyond the outstretched hand of Marc-Andre Ter Stegen.
However, you cannot keep Messi quiet for long and within four minutes of Kane halving the deficit, he had his goal. Barcelona broke down the left-hand side and Jordi Alba’s cross was dummied by two Barca attackers before Messi stroked past Lloris. It was no more than he deserved after a mesmerising performance so far.
Lamela Lights Up the Tie Again
Spurs were not done, though, and they were determined to make Barcelona work for their points. Erik Lamela received the ball 20-yards from goal and his shot took a wicked deflection off Clement Lenglet. Ter Stegen had already dived for the shot and watched despairingly as the ball sailed over his arm.
Spurs had the better of the late chances to win the game and could have nicked at least a point on numerous occasions were in not for the quality on Lenglet. He denied Lucas Moura after the winger brilliantly shifted into space after a turn of speed and, from the resulting corner, got in the way of Harry Kane’s header after he had towered above the Frenchman.
Messi, though, would have the last say on this game, and it was only right after Wembley witnessed a Messi masterclass. Tottenham cleared the ball towards Moussa Sissoko but he was outmuscled by Alba. His ball into the box was dummied by Suarez which left Messi with acres of space after getting away from Alderweireld. He took his time and stroked cooly past Lloris to seal the points for Barcelona and consign Tottenham to two defeats in two in the Champions League.