Messi puts on a show to sink Spurs at Wembley

Virginia Santiago
October 4, 2018

Mauricio Pochettino says the early goal Tottenham conceded in Wednesday's Champions League group match destroyed their hopes of beating Barcelona and described his players as "heroes" for getting back within one goal of the Catalans.

Spurs twice rallied, making it 2-1 and then 3-2 and almost equalising with a deflected Lucas Moura effort, but Lionel Messi's 90th-minute strike - his second goal of the night - ended Spurs' hopes.

Spurs were always on the back foot after a Lloris error helped gift Barca the lead just 92 seconds into the game - Messi initially capitalising on some poor defending - before a stunning Ivan Rakitic volley doubled the advantage in the first half.

Lionel Messi has not spoken about their last two games, and according to the report by UK Mirror, Gerard Pique is unhappy with the situation. It's hard to assess the first half because it was hard for the team to restart and to feel confident.

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"For 45 minutes, we didn't concede one chance to Messi - but of course when we are 2-0 down and you give more space as we are attacking", Pochettino said.

Tottenham got off to a awful start as an error in judgement from the returning Hugo Lloris let Barcelona in after just two minutes. "I think our players were heroes to chase the game against a team with Messi, Luis Suarez and Philippe Coutinho".

But Pochettino rejected the opinion that Messi had nearly single-handedly dismantled his team, adding: "We didn't concede one chance to Messi in the first half". If you watch the game, in the first half - how many chances did Messi have?

"Come on, move on, because in the first half we concede in the first minutes".

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Spurs are still without a point in their Champions League group, having lost both of their matches so far against Inter Milan and Barcelona.

Whether the Spurs players enjoyed it, as Pochettino told them to, remains to be seen, but perhaps in time they will tell their grandchildren about the night they shared a football pitch with Messi. Victor Waynama and Harry Winks will look to control midfield, while Lucas Moura, Erik Lamela and Heung-Min Son support Harry Kane.

"We still need to play four games and we have in our hands to be or not in the next stage", Pochettino said.

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