Darren Fletcher has claimed that Leo Messi reminded him of Paul Scholes when the latter played at Manchester United after Argentine legend starred in Barcelona’s 4-2 win over Tottenham
Lionel Messi produced yet another masterclass as Barca maintained their 100 per cent run in this years Champions League group stage with an easy 4-2 win over Spurs at Wembley Stadium on Wednesday night. The attacker scored a double to take his tally of strikes against English opposition to 22 in 29 games. Such was his domination that Messi could easily have bagged a treble, having twice hit the base of the left post before finally scoring on the night.
There were questions raised regarding the form of Ernesto Valverde’s men coming into this fixture, as they had gone three games in the La Liga without a win, but his boys answered any doubters emphatically with a superbly controlled and stylish performance. And former United midfielder Fletcher was almost speechless after seeing Messi’s display. “What a performance from that man Messi, he could have had a hat-trick,” Fletcher said. “It’s an absolute masterclass from him, we used to talk about Paul Scholes performing like this but Messi was on another level tonight.”
Messi and Luis Suarez finally reignited their spark as the two combined brilliantly during the game, and this did not go unnoticed by Fletcher. “Luis (Suarez) is playing for Lionel (Messi), he has so much respect for him. In a Liverpool shirt a few seasons ago, you can’t see Suarez leaving the ball for anyone like he did twice for Messi tonight. Messi loves Suarez and Suarez loves Messi.”
The Scotsman does feel that Messi will benefit greatly from not playing as high up the pitch as he used to. “Playing deeper will prolong Lionel Messi’s career, he’ll still score an incredible amount of goals. He’s almost playing as Messi and Iniesta all in one, it’s quite something.”
— Match of the Day (@BBCMOTD) October 4, 2018
With this loss, Spurs are stuck on third in Group B, still looking for their first points of this European campaign and Mauricio Pochettino’s men look to bounce back when they host Cardiff on Saturday in the English Premier League.
Anyone who saw the Spurs-Barca game last night will know they were privileged to have seen such a virtuoso performance from Messi, this coming from a non-Barca and Messi fan. The diminutive Argentine seems to be getting better with age, and the fact that he is now playing from deeper and conducting proceedings could just see him achieve a whole new level, despite his goal-scoring returns perhaps being slightly dented as result.