Tottenham Hotspur vs. Barcelona - Football Match Report

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

Ahead of the game Harry Kane was ridiculed for saying he'd like to score more goals than Lionel Messi. Messi aimed for the same post he had hit twice earlier, and this time found the side netting. What Messi had in skill, Kane matched in grit. "As players you want to play against the best in the world and Messi is certainly that, a fantastic player, and we will do our best to stop him". But there was no doubting the superiority of the Spaniards, for whom Ivan Rakitic struck a stupendous second-half volley, whose progress to the knockout stages now looks close to assured.

Tottenham Hotspur have officially revealed their starting eleven and substitutes to welcome Spanish giants Barcelona to Wembley in the Champions League this evening.

That's a pretty simple lesson and one that many teams have learned in the past, so it's very surprising that Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino allowed his players to grant so much green grass - well, actually brown dust considering the shocking state of the Wembley "turf" - to the visitors.

'We played with the handicap of conceding after one minute.

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"With all respect to other players who have won it [Ballon d'Or], we know there is a player who is different to the others and that is Leo Messi", Rakitic said post-game.

The main area Barcelona can improve is defensively.

Messi, 31, was applauded off by both sets of fans after an absorbing advert for the Champions League which left Barça joint top of the group on six points with Inter Milan.

Lucas Moura then forced Ter Stegen into a save from 19 yards out after picking up the ball in midfield and running at the defence on 81 minutes, and the Brazilian saw his goalbound strike from 10 yards out deflected wide of the left post by Lenglet three minutes later. Tottenham face back-to-back games against PSV Eindhoven with both teams having lost their first two matches.

But the damage was done due to defensive errors from Lloris and Sanchez as they badly missed Vertonghen's calming influence and Dembele's presence in front of the back four. "When you play against Barcelona you can have different players and different tactics but the result will be the same".

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