Lionel Messi Barcelona’s difference maker – Valverde

Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde hailed the ‘unique’ Lionel Messi for once again making the difference against Inter.

Lautaro Martinez gave Inter the lead in the third minute of Wednesday night’s encounter but Luis Suarez struck twice in the second half to hand Barcelona a potentially vital victory.

The Italian side were dominant in the first half but it was the mercurial Argentine who helped turn the game on its head in the second half.

He produced a display of skill and ability that defied the pre-match fitness doubts that were held over the 32-year-old.

It was only Messi’s second start of the season and the first time he completed 90 minutes, as Barca moved joint top of the group alongside Borussia Dortmund.

“I will say it’s the right result, the Inter Coach will say it isn’t,” Valverde told Sky Sport Italia, as cited by our sister site Football Italia.

“Inter are an excellent team and they proved that in the first half. We came out fighting for the second half and scored the decisive goals.

“The Nerazzurri have won their first six in Serie A and it showed, as they scored with the first opportunity. We made changes, raised the tempo and that made a big difference to the game.

“We know Messi is unique and clearly he makes the difference. He wasn’t in the best physical shape, but he is improving and we saw his assist for the second goal late on, so he can’t be doing that badly.”

Tags Ernesto Valverde