Mauricio Pochettino praises Tottenham Hotspur 'heroes' for not giving in against Barcelona

Jan Vertonghen is one of several absentees for Spurs

Mauricio Pochettino dismissed the notion that two-goal hero Lionel Messi dismantled Tottenham, the Spurs boss instead lamenting Hugo Lloris' early mistake against Barcelona in their Champions League defeat. After two games they are six points back but have two winnable games against PSV coming up.

Messi was at his magical best , the five-time Ballon d'Or victor scoring twice to lead Barca to a 4-2 victory over Tottenham at Wembley on Wednesday. "Bottom corner. There was a similar goal he scored in the Premier League as well".

But even if the bulk of his achievements are already written in the history books, he still possesses the magical ability to appear superhuman on a football pitch.

The relationship between Lionel Messi and Gerard Pique at Barcelona is reportedly on an all time low this season after the last two games played by the reigning Spanish champions. Then Davinson Sanchez's cheap giveaway led to Coutinho keeping the ball in play as Rakitic hammered home a stupendous volley which will live long in the memory. "If you watch the first half again, how many chances did he have?" Spurs could not get near him and he left the watching crowd gasping twice within the space of five minutes as two nearly identical efforts struck the same portion of Lloris's right-hand post.

At Wembley, as rightly predicted, there was plenty of goals to savour and Messi was in the thick of majority.

"Messi is the best ever", Coutinho said to beIN SPORTS.

From Ivan Rakitic's mind-boggling goal to Messi's brilliance and the grit of Kane, this game had it all.

Messi sealed the result in the 90th minute with a calm finish which gives his side a second successive Champions League win and sees them top Group B.

Spurs fell behind after less than two minutes at Wembley and found themselves 2-0 down at the break.

"He's a fantastic player", Pochettino said after the game.

Messi and his club have been eliminated at the quarter-final stage of the Champions League in each of the last three campaigns. "But, with all the respect in the world towards Luka and the others, there's a player who is different to everyone else - and that's Leo Messi".