Thursday, 18 October, 2018

Tottenham’s Harry Kane sets sights on Messi as Barcelona come to town

Lionel Messi lit up Wembley Stadium Lionel Messi lit up Wembley Stadium
Betsy Taylor | 04 October, 2018, 07:26

Mauricio Pochettino believes goalkeeper Hugo Lloris - and not a Lionel Messi masterclass - was responsible for Tottenham Hotspur's Champions League defeat to Barcelona.

After two games they are six points back but have two winnable games against PSV coming up.

"After 45 minutes, Lionel Messi, I don't think we conceded one chance to him".

The Barcelona supporters sang his name, the scoreline was shaped by his feet and intelligence and Spurs now find themselves facing a battle to stay in the Champions League.

Messi almost put the game away twice at the start of the second half, but both times his low curling shots clattered off the left post to keep Spurs trailing by just two goals.

"If we start the game this way, it's so tough for the players".


Ter Stegen came to their rescue on 33 minutes as he stuck out a glove to parry away Lamela's cross that deflected towards goal off Nelson Semedo, while Messi could only pick out Lloris from 14 yards out after combining with Alba as the action quickly switched to the opposite end of the pitch. It was a signal of intent from a team that has watched Real Madrid, its chief rival, win three consecutive Champions League crowns since their most recent European triumph, in 2015.

Kane has been prolific for Tottenham over the last four years, but he admits he needs to become even more ruthless with his finishing to approach the jaw-dropping statistics compiled by the Argentina forward. Suarez looked set to hit it at the near post, but instead produced a ideal dummy that left Messi to guide the ball into the corner of the net from six yards.

"We've got to prove we can beat the best teams in the world and we need to do that against Barcelona".

"Hopefully we can produce that same energy", he said.

Barcelona have returned to winning ways thanks to a 3-2 victory over Tottenham Hotspur in the Champions League this evening. We need to produce that same energy, the crowd were unbelievable that night.

Nobody disputes the genius he showed for the first time more than a decade ago and has demonstrated consistently since but, after so long at the top and having played more than 800 games, we have to accept that nights like these, when he illuminated Wembley, might be less frequent.

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