Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino said Lionel Messi’s brilliance after the Argentine dealt a huge blow to Spurs’ Champions League hopes with a double in Barcelona’s 4-2 win at Wembley on Wednesday.
Messi also hit the woodwork twice in a virtuoso display as Barca bounced back from a three-game winless run in La Liga to move alongside Inter Milan at the top of Group B with maximum points from two games.
Spurs, by contrast, have lost both of their opening two fixtures and have a mountain to climb to reach the last 16.
He’s a fantastic player. The most important (thing) is Messi shows in every game, why he is Messi,” said Pochettino.
“His average performance is this type of game. He’s always above everything.”
Spurs battled back bravely in the second-half with goals from Harry Kane and Erik Lamela twice reducing Barcelona’s lead to a solitary goal.
But Pochettino lamented Philippe Coutinho’s second-minute opener when the Spurs captain and goalkeeper Hugo Lloris was caught out of position on his first appearance after a five-week injury layoff.