Brilliant Lionel Messi conducts Catalans in unrelenting win

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Ernesto Valverde's men had failed to win their last three games and looked nervy in the closing stages, but Messi capitalised on poor defending in the last minute to ensure his team join Inter on maximum points after two games in Group B.

Spanish newspaper Sport have now come up with an explanation for why Messi acted as he did after scoring.

Ivan Rakitic thumped home Barca's second with a goal of the highest technical order but Spurs rallied in the second half and threatened a comeback through an equally well taken Harry Kane strike.

However, Messi sealed the win in the 89th minute as Luis Suarez's clever dummy left the Argentine one-on-one with Lloris, and he made no mistake from close range.

Alas for the Premier League side, they would soon see their opponents regain their two-goal advantage, with Messi finally getting the goal he deserved after another fabulous attack.

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Messi has now scored 105 goals in 127 Champions League appearances.

'These are the games you want to be involved in. "I feel proud for the effort of the players".

The Catalan giants got off to a ideal start as an error in judgment from Hugo Lloris allowed Jordi Alba to pick out Philippe Coutinho for the simple tap-in. 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.

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

Messi and Co. have been written off by many already, and after going three years without winning the Champions League, they will have to clean up their defensive deficiencies to have a real chance of winning it all in Madrid in May.

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

They have a tough job to get out of the group now with both Barca and Inter having six points on the board.

"With respect to the other players, Messi is unique", he added.

A gallant Tottenham side, missing the likes of Dele Alli, Christian Eriksen and Jan Vertonghen, nearly levelled when Lucas Moura's shot deflected wide but Messi ended their resistance after again being picked out by Alba.

The return of World Cup victor Lloris should have given Spurs a boost, especially as Mauricio Pochettino was without Dele Alli, Jan Vertonghen and Christian Eriksen, among others. Previously reliable, Lloris errors are now far too regular.

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