Brilliant Lionel Messi conducts Catalans in unrelenting win

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Spurs' joy was short-lived as Barca restored their two-goal advantage five minutes later, with Messi turning home Alba's cross with a neat finish.

Pochettino felt the early blow undermined his gameplan but hailed his team as "heroes" for hanging in the game. The first half was hard for the team to start to play and feel confident in the way that we planned to play because of a few mistakes before the action that we conceded.

Lionel Messi was the star of the show overall, but it was ex-Liverpool playmaker Philippe Coutinho who opened the scored after just 92 seconds of play.

The double strike against Spurs took his all-time Champions League goal tally to 108 - just 13 behind Cristiano Ronaldo - and he has now scored a remarkable 22 goals in 29 appearances against English clubs.

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

Live Stream: You can stream the game on fuboTV.

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A great start for Barcelona, what Lloris had in mind will remain a mystery.

But Pochettino rejected the opinion that Messi had nearly single-handedly dismantled his team, adding: "We didn't concede one chance to Messi in the first half". Our players were heroes because they were chasing the game against Messi, Suarez, Coutinho and co. He has five goals in two UCL games this season, at a rate of one goal every 36 minutes. The first half was extraordinary, there were some fantastic moves.

"We can talk about Tottenham and their efforts later on, but you have to marvel at this guy here", Ferdinand said.

"For 45 minutes, we didn't concede one chance to Messi - but of course when we are 2-0 down and you give more space as we are attacking", Pochettino said.

Spurs pushed hard for the equaliser and almost had it in the 84th minute when Lucas Moura broke free in the Barcelona area only to see his shot from 8 yards out deflect off Lenglet and out of touch. The most important thing was our character'.

And he solidified that by delivering a performance to remember as Ernesto Valverde's men made it back-to-back Champions League wins. They are going to need at least four points from those games to feel like they have a strong shot. "Our response was very good", Valverde, under the cosh after Barca drew two and lost one of their last three La Liga games, told reporters. We still think the same, that all is possible'.

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