Lionel Messi: Barcelona made Tottenham look 'lost' in first half at Wembley
Lionel Messi thought Tottenham looked lost at times as he scored twice in Barcelona's 4-2 win over the Premier League side at Wembley on Wednesday.
Philippe Coutinho and Ivan Rakitic fired Barca into a two-goal lead at the break as the La Liga champions looked to bounce back from a three-game winless run.
Messi added two more after half-time, with Spurs twice threatening a comeback through goals from Harry Kane and Erik Lamela, but it was the opening 45 minutes which left the Argentine forward most satisfied.
"We were aware that with the results we have had there were doubts," Messi told BeIn Sports after the match. "And it's never easy away from home in the Champions League, especially against a team like Tottenham.
"It was a big test but we produced a great performance. The first half was extraordinary, there were some fantastic moves. We controlled the half. The opposition were lost. We're happy because things went how we wanted."
Messi also hit the post twice, as well as playing a fine pass to Jordi Alba in the build up to Coutinho's opener, as Barca earned a much-needed win after failing to beat Girona, Leganes or Athletic Bilbao in the last 10 days.
It was also just their second win away from home in their last eight Champions League games on the road, with the performance prompting the suggestion they're prioritising European success this season.
"The Champions League is the cherry on the cake for everyone, but to win it we have to do well in La Liga and the Copa del Rey," Messi added.
"It's not easy to change chip, you have to be switched on in the league to do well in Europe. We're not going to leave any competition to one side. The Champions League is special, but we will fight to win the league and the cup as well."
Messi now has five goals in just two European games this season, having scored a hat trick against PSV Eindhoven last month.
In total, he has 10 goals and five assists in 10 appearances in all competitions since August and his teammates are in no doubts about his standing in the world of football.
"With all respect to the guys that are winning awards, there's a guy that's better than the rest," Rakitic told reporters. "And it's Leo Messi.
"Sometimes things happen like last season with [FIFA The Best winner] Luka [Modric], but with all the respect to Luka, there's a guy that is different, and it's Leo. It's an honour to play alongside him."
However, Rakitic also singled out midfielder Arthur Melo for praise. The Brazilian, who Messi recently compared to Xavi Hernandez, came into the side in place of Ousmane Dembele as coach Ernesto Valverde switched to a midfield four.
"In part, his performance is why we played so well," said Rakitic. "He deserves it. He's working hard every day and he's been doing well."
Alba also praised Messi following the match, saying FIFA's "The Best" award was a lie and that the Argentina international "eats at a separate table."
"Leo has proved that he is the best player in the world," Alba said. "Offensively he has created a lot of danger like he does in every game and defensively he has been at a spectacular level, running as much as the most. And when Leo runs we have no choice but to grit our teeth.
"We have been a very [supportive] team. I'm happy with the work of all the players. About Leo we have already said that he is the best player in the world and he makes the rest of us better. Today once again he has been the best.
"Messi eats at a separate table. I say it honestly, not because he plays on my team. When I was at Valencia I had the same opinion. He plays at another level, he scores goals, he provides assists, he runs as much as the most.
"There is no comparison with another player and everyone knows it."