Lionel Messi masterclass too much for Tottenham Hotspur

Lionel Messi put on his latest masterclass as Barcelona fought off a Tottenham Hotspur resurgence to win 4-2 at Wembley Stadium on Wednesday.

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Messi scored twice and hit the post twice for a Barca side whose dominance in the first half made it too late for Tottenham to mount a Champions League comeback, as well as ending their recent slump.

Samuel Umtiti and Sergi Roberto were injured so Clement Lenglet and Nelson Semedo stayed in central defence and at right-back respectively.

Elsewhere, Sergio Busquets returned in midfield and was partnered by Arthur, but Ousmane Dembele made way for Messi up top.

Tottenham, meanwhile, were without Jan Vertonghen, Serge Aurier, Mousa Dembele, Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen, but Harry Kane nonetheless led their attack.

The match was played at Wembley, where Barca had won the European Cup trophy twice and Spurs beat Real Madrid 3-1 last season.

It took the Blaugrana just two minutes to assert their control as the No 10’s through ball caught out both Kieran Trippier and Hugo Lloris, gifting Philippe Coutinho an empty net.

Spurs’ midfield of Harry Winks and Victor Wanyama were given the run-around as the half wore on, and the Catalans had their lead extended by Ivan Rakitic, whose volley rocketed in off the post.

Messi hit the post twice with two identical, side-footed efforts after a pair of mazy dribbles, but Kane pulled one back for Spurs against the run of play, curling one into Marc-Andre ter Stegen’s bottom-right corner.

The Argentine subsequently started and finished off Barca’s third goal with another delicate side-footer, yet Tottenham’s persistence to stay in the game paid off when Erik Lamela’s deflected strike beat Ter Stegen.

Ernesto Valverde switched to a 4-4-2 formation, bringing on Arturo Vidal to beef up the midfield, and his tactical tweak was soon followed by Suarez’s dummy teeing up Messi, who sent Lloris the wrong way.

Barca remain top of Group B on goal difference, despite Inter winning 2-1 at PSV to join them on six points.

Tottenham Hotspur 2-4 Barcelona

Kane 52, Lamela 66 (TH) Coutinho 2, Rakitic 28, Messi 56, 90 (B)

Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris; Trippier, Alderweireld, Davinson, Davies; Wanyama (Dier 57), Winks; Lucas, Lamela (Llorente 79), Son (Sissoko 66); Kane

Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Semedo, Pique, Lenglet, Alba; Rakitic, Busquets (Vermaelen 90), Arthur (Vidal 87); Messi, Suarez, Coutinho (Rafinha 83)

Referee: Zwayer (GER)

Tags Tottenham Hotspur