Eric Dier On Bench - Tottenham Hotspur Team vs Barcelona Confirmed

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Swiftly playing the ball back in side, former Liverpool man Philippe Coutinho was on-hand to finish the chance off well.

"I'll tell my kids about it tomorrow on the school run".

Such cynicism may grate after witnessing a masterclass by Lionel Messi last night but the reality is that Tottenham are already six points adrift of Barcelona and Inter Milan in group B. Back-to-back matches against PSV Eindhoven offer an opportunity to try to make up lost ground but Tottenham are up against it.

Coutinho performed a minor miracle to keep the ball in play on the byline with Rakitic launching himself into a sensational 20-yard volley that clipped the post on its way into Lloris' net.

"Messi had more space in the second half and that is hard to stop", Pochettino said.

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Having played the role of provider, Messi upped a gear after half-time and began to embark on the mazy, unstoppable dribbles that have defined his career.

Powering into the Barca area with intent, Kane side-stepped Nelson Semedo and planted a powerful low strike into the far corner for his 10th goal in 12 Champions League appearances.

But the Bury-native was unable to contain Messi, admitting he had an "unbelievable" game and is "magic to watch".

Some more poor play from Lloris saw Messi nearly score soon after as the La Liga giants pushed for a fourth goal. Busquets and Rakitic are 30; Messi and Suarez are 31.

He was not finished there, though.

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Messi was unplayable and even some of Spurs' players couldn't help but laud him, despite losing the game.

His performance was reminiscent of the Champions League final at this same venue in 2011 when Messi, then at the peak of his powers, destroyed Manchester United with a spellbinding performance against Sir Alex Ferguson's team.

Barcelona were vulnerable so they said, but on a pitch scarred from hosting British heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua's fight against Alexander Povetkin they took only two minutes to catch Spurs in the solar plexus.

"I've seen a great Messi, with a lot of hunger", Llorente said. As it was, Tottenham's manager was left with nothing but superlatives to his fellow countryman. Everyone who has played against him has said the same thing. "His average performance is this type of game, above everything else".

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