Coutinho praises star man Messi after virtuoso display at Tottenham

Ruben Holloway
October 4, 2018

It's not easy to play a UEFA Champions League game away from home, especially against a team like Tottenham. Champions League football by February?

While speaking to Movistar+, Messi insisted that his team needs to stop giving opportunities to the opponents for capitalizing.

Messi ran amok at Wembley Stadium, slicing Spurs apart with incisive passes from deep, such as the one that allowed Philippe Coutinho to open the scoring, and was as unsafe as ever in front of goal, firing in the Catalan side's final two goals to end their winless run of three games.

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Barcelona needed a good result in Europe after some disappointing displays domestically and an important way to achieve that was to get rid of the dependency on Lionel Messi that has been evident for the past two seasons away from home in the Champions League. After two games they are six points back but have two winnable games against PSV coming up.

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. "For your ego, it's a thing that you are going to tell your kids and grandkids".

Nobody disputes the genius he showed for the first time more than a decade ago and has demonstrated consistently since but, after so long at the top and having played more than 800 games, we have to accept that nights like these, when he illuminated Wembley, might be less frequent.

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Working the ball from just outside their own box up the pitch, a wonderful pass from Lionel Messi fed in Jordi Alba down the left-hand side. Yes, Kane is still only 25 years old and has time on his side, but he will have his work cut out to get on Messi's level. "When he's in that form, he's magic to watch".

Yet Kane gave Tottenham a lifeline when the England forward netted against the run of play in the 52nd minute.

Spurs pushed hard for the equaliser and almost had it in the 84th minute when Lucas Moura broke free in the Barcelona area only to see his shot from 8 yards out deflect off Lenglet and out of touch.

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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. "His average performance is this type of game, above everything else".

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