Messi double helps Barcelona to 4-2 win at Tottenham

first_imgInitially, Messi settled for a supporting role as his defense-splitting pass from the halfway line to Jordi Alba helped create the opening goal. After goalkeeper Hugo Lloris rashly rushed off his line to confront Alba the ball was squared for Philippe Coutinho to score within two minutes of kickoff.While the opener owed much to Lloris’ poor judgment on his return from an injury sustained during a drunken-driving incident, the second goal was pure artistry. Messi also started the move that saw Suarez and Coutinho combine to set up Ivan Rakitic to volley superbly into the top of the net.When the post twice denied Messi at the start of the second half it looked like he wouldn’t come close to repeating his hat trick in the 4-0 victory over PSV Eindhoven in the group opener.But Messi, who scored in the 2011 final win over Manchester United, was afforded more space in the second half.After Tottenham striker Harry Kane pulled one back in the 52nd minute, Messi started and completed the move four minutes later that restored Barcelona’s two-goal lead.ADVERTISEMENT “It wasn’t this plan to play this game on Wembley,” Pochettino said. “What can we do? Nothing. The grass needs to grow.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Gov’t to employ 6,000 displaced by Taal Lawyers: Ronaldo accuser suffers from post-traumatic stress But the victory — after a three-game winless domestic run — was built on much more than Messi’s virtuoso performance.Selflessness isn’t a trait often attached to Luis Suarez, but it was the former Liverpool striker’s clever dummies that set up both goals from Messi as he allowed the ball to drift past him into the path of the Argentine forward.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissThe five-time world player of the year could even afford to hit the post twice before scoring in the second half as the five-time European champions made it two wins out of two in Group B.“Everything he does is so unpredictable,” Barcelona playmaker Philippe Coutinho said. “I’m thrilled for him that he scored twice.” Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Japeth Aguilar embraces role, gets rewarded with Finals MVP plum Allen Durham still determined to help Meralco win 1st PBA titlecenter_img MOST READ By the time Jordi Alba virtually cut the ball back from the byline, Messi had darted into the box and both Coutinho and Suarez left it for the five-time world player of the year to finish.The prospect of a Tottenham comeback flickered again when Erik Lamela netted with a deflected strike in the 66th“We had a few problems,” Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde said. “But we solved them.”Or Messi did. As Suarez let the ball go past him, the unmarked Messi tapped into an open net in the 90th to put the score beyond the reach of a Tottenham side which has never lifted the European Cup.“What we had to do was take risks,” Pochettino said. “When you play against Barcelona you can have different players and different tactics but the result will be the same.”Tottenham’s task was made even harder with three core players out injured: Defender Jan Vertonghen, midfielder Dele Alli and playmaker Christian Eriksen, who all featured 11 months ago in a victory over European champion Real Madrid at Wembley.After losing its group opener to Inter Milan, Tottenham is now on zero points along with PSV Eindhoven, which lost 2-1 to the Italian side on Wednesday.PITCH PROBLEMSThe quality of the field in north London didn’t match the spectacle in a stadium where this game wasn’t even due to be played. With the rebuilding of White Hart Lane overrunning, Wembley is still Tottenham’s temporary home.It’s not just the additional burden from unexpected Tottenham games accounting for the brown, dead grass across the center. It is less than two weeks since a boxing ring was constructed for the Anthony Joshua-Alexander Povetkin world heavyweight title fight. Barcelona forward Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring his side’s third goal during the Champions League Group B soccer match between Tottenham Hotspur and Barcelona at Wembley Stadium in London, Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)LONDON — Back at the scene of his 2011 Champions League final triumph, Lionel Messi delivered another display of artistry at Wembley Stadium.Messi’s two goals helped Barcelona fight off Tottenham’s second-half resurgence and secured a 4-2 win for the visitors on Wednesday.ADVERTISEMENT Tim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award LATEST STORIES Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View commentslast_img read more