Messi scores twice as Barca hold off Spurs comeback

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Spurs were humbled by stunning goals from Philippe Coutinho, Ivan Rakitic and two from the irrepressible Messi.

Ahead of the game Harry Kane was ridiculed for saying he'd like to score more goals than Lionel Messi.

"He's become a player like [Cristiano] Ronaldo who picks his moment in games, he'll wait, bide his time and save the big moment to usually make a difference".

A lot was made before the match of this being a good time to play Barcelona due to their three-game winless run, but injuries meant that this was far from an opportune time for Mauricio Pochettino's men to be facing one of Europe's most unsafe teams. In the second half, he had more space and that is hard to stop.

And Roberts suggested on social media that Pochettino's side can take a lot of heart from the performance, while he also reserved praise for Lamela - who was arguably Spurs' best player on the night - Kane and Harry Winks. We are not leaving any of the competitions to focus on this one. "To play against him was an honour".

In recent weeks there have been murmurs that Barcelona have been struggling after three games without a win in La Liga.

Messi produced a gorgeous ball to send Jordi Alba scampering clear down the left channel and, with Lloris having raced out and left his goal unmarked, the left-back squared for Coutinho to tuck away his first Barca goal in the Champions League. Then Davinson Sanchez's cheap giveaway led to Coutinho keeping the ball in play as Rakitic hammered home a stupendous volley which will live long in the memory.

The main area Barcelona can improve is defensively. But what the scoreline did do was set the stage for a pulsating second-half.

In Naples, a late goal from Insigne gave Napoli a lone goal win over Napoli while Inter Milan, the other Italian team in action on Wednesday also secured victory; beating PSV 2-1 away from home.

"But for me the most important thing was that in the second half we played and we showed character".

Pochettino has a host of injury problems to cope with, as Christian Eriksen, Dele Alli, Jan Vertonghen, Serge Aurier and Mousa Dembele are all out.

Marc-Andre ter Stegen made a great save to keep out a Son Heung-min cross that sharply deflected off Gerard Pique, who was making his 100th Champions League appearance, and Messi hit the post twice in five minutes after the restart before Kane gave Spurs a lifeline. Previously reliable, Lloris errors are now far too regular.

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