4th October, 2018
It was expected but all the same there were hopes of somehow stopping him from doing the damages but then, it just had to happen. Stopping a Lionel Messi on a day he is determined to win an important match is really a herculean task. That s exactly what happened last night as Tottenham Hotspurs went down 2-4 to F.C. Barcelona in a Champions League game.
Barcelona went into the game in a very business-like manner as they did not waste time in scoring their first goal through former Liverpool player Phillipe Coutinho who struck in a shot from the edge of the area as early as in the 2nd minute of the game.
Lionel Messi was involved as usual. He played an excellent through ball to Jordi Alba who skipped around a badly positioned Hugo Lloris, and squared the ball to Coutinho. The striker wasted no time to thunder the ball into the bottom corner of the empty net.
Then came the visitor’s second goal in the 28th minute of the game. Messi was again involved as he looped a ball into Suarez’s path. The Uruguayan then found Coutinho who ensured that the ball found its way to Rakitic on the edge of the area. The Croatian midfielder then powered home a stunning volley into the net leaving Lloris with no chance.
Luiz Suarez should have should have scored a third for Barca when he was played through by Messi only for him to put his low effort wide of the far post.
Tottenham had their chance to score too when Heung-Min Son’s cross deflected off of Gerard Pique’s boot and looked destined for the Barca net but then an agile Marc-Andre Ter Stegen in goal for the visitors stuck out a paw to claw the ball away.
The second half started on another scary note for the home team and their fans as Messi ran through the Tottenham defence only to strike the base of the post with a low shot.
In what looked like an exact replay of that miss, the Barca talisman then hit the post again with another low effort making the home fans wonder what was happening to their darling team.
They however got a reprieve thereafter as Harry Kane managed to find his way past Nelson Semedo to guide a curling shot that beat Ter Stegen thereby pulling one back for the home team.
It was then time for Messi to atone for his earlier near misses. He played Jordi Alba down the left before getting the ball back right by the penalty spot. He then stroked the ball into the bottom corner of the net to silence the home fans once again.
Tottenham was not going to allow Barca to win easily as they found a way to reduce the tally again when Son managed to pick out Lamela before the Argentinian let fly. The ball took a wicked deflection off of Clement Lenglet, wrong-footing Ter Stegen in the process, before flying into the Barcelona net.
Lionel Messi was not done however as he got on the score-sheet once again. Jordi Alba got the ball off Moussa Sissoko to play the ball to Suarez who was able to find Messi in the penalty area. The mercurial striker wasted no time in rolling ball into the bottom corner of the opponent’s net to ensure that Barcelona ended the game with a comfortable win.
The Spanish soccer giants now top the group having won two matches out of two played so far.
Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris (5); Davies (6), Sanchez (6), Alderweireld (6), Trippier (6); Wanyama (5) (Dier (5), 57′), Winks (6); Son (6), Lamela (7) (Llorente (N/A), 79′), Moura (6); Kane (7).
Barcelona: Ter Stegen (6); Alba (7), Lenglet (7), Pique (6), Semedo (6); Rakitic (7), Busquets (7) (Vermaelen (N/A), 90+2′), Arthur (7) (Vidal (N/A), 87′); Messi (9), Suarez (7), Coutinho (7) (Rafinha (N/A), 83′).
Goals: Coutinho (2′), Rakitic (28′), Kane (52′), Messi (56′)