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The magic of Messi

Barca ace is spellbinding as Spurs and Liverpool crash

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Smiles better: Lionel Messi celebrates after carving open Spurs

Smiles better: Lionel Messi celebrates after carving open Spurs

AFP/Getty Images

Smiles better: Lionel Messi celebrates after carving open Spurs

It was a Wembley wonderland for Lionel Messi last night as Spurs had no answer to the Argentine's two-goal brilliance.

While Lorenzo Insigne's dramatic late winner gave Napoli a 1-0 victory over Liverpool in their Champions League clash in Italy, Barcelona turned on the style against Tottenham with Messi leading the charge in a 4-2 win.

Spurs keeper Hugo Lloris gifted Philippe Coutinho the opener inside two minutes with a reckless dash from goal before Ivan Rakitic put them further in control before half-time. Messi hit the post twice before Harry Kane gave Spurs hope with a low finish but Messi slid home from close range.

Erik Lamela's deflected effort set up a grandstand finish but Messi had the final word leaving Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino to admit: "He's a fantastic player. The most important thing is why Lionel Messi in every game shows why he is Messi. His average performance is this type of game, above everything else."

Liverpool's misery was compounded by an injury to Naby Keita who was taken off on a stretcher after just 17 minutes. Keita, who joined from RB Leipzig for £48m in the summer, was making his first appearance in the Champions League for Liverpool.

Belfast Telegraph