Sports Xtra

Messi masterpiece inspires Barca win over Spurs
Messi masterpiece inspires Barca win over Spurs

Messi masterpiece inspires Barca win over Spurs

Written by Gideon Sarpong
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Lionel Messi produced a Wembley masterpiece to condemn Tottenham to their second successive Champions League defeat as they were beaten by Barcelona at Wembley.

Messi was the magnificent orchestrator behind a superb attacking display from the Catalans that eventually proved too much for spirited Spurs, who also lost their opening Group B game to Inter Milan in Italy.

Spurs keeper Hugo Lloris, back from injury, gifted Philippe Coutinho Barcelona's opener inside two minutes with a reckless dash from goal before Ivan Rakitic put them further in control before half-time with a spectacular 20-yard strike.

Messi hit the post twice before Harry Kane gave Spurs hope with a clever low finish before the Argentine superstar slid home from close range to restore Barcelona's advantage.

Erik Lamela's deflected effort set up a grandstand finish but it was fitting that the peerless Messi had the final word with a simple strike after Luis Suarez's brilliant dummy.

The defeat leaves Mauricio Pochettino's side third in the group, six points behind leaders Barcelona and second-placed Inter Milan and facing a difficult task to progress to the knockout stages.