Previous
Liverpool
Villarreal
3
0
FT
Leg 2Aggregate: 3 - 1
Game Details
Rostov
Lokomotiv Moscow
4:30 PM UTC
Game Details
Orlando City SC
New York Red Bulls
11:00 PM UTC
Game Details
Veracruz
Morelia
12:30 AM UTC May 7, 2016
Game Details
Santos
Guadalajara
2:30 AM UTC May 7, 2016
Game Details
Hebei China Fortune FC
Henan Jianye
11:35 AM UTC
Game Details
Albirex Niigata
Balestier Khalsa
11:30 AM UTC
Game Details
Next
By ESPN Staff

Messi the hero after Barca's late escape

Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola and his players were not short of superlatives to describe Lionel Messi following the Argentinian's last-gasp heroics against Shakhtar Donetsk.

Messi almost single-handedly turned defeat into victory on Wednesday night, coming off the bench to score twice in injury time as Barca bounced back from a half-time deficit to clinch a 2-1 win in Ukraine.

Messi's first goal was a simple tap-in from close range following a mistake by Shakhtar goalkeeper Andrei Pyatov, but the diminutive playmaker's second effort was much more memorable, coolly dinking the ball over Pyatov after racing in from the left-hand side of the area.

Those goals helped Barca continue their 100% record in Group C and left Guardiola waxing lyrical about his young forward.

"There is no doubt that Leo is a special player, who does things differently and is very decisive," said Guardiola.

Barca strikers Thierry Henry and Samuel Eto'o also heaped praise on their fellow forward, with the Frenchman, who was replaced by Messi on the hour-mark, saying: "I'm very happy for Leo because he is the best player in the world."

Eto'o added: "We've won thanks to the strength of the team and the plays of Messi, who has shown his talent."

Guardiola was keen not to let Messi steal all the limelight though, insisting Barca are by no means a one-man team and even joking that he would be using the Argentinian only as a supersub in the future.

"We already know what Messi is capable of doing, but it's not only him. We also have (Andres) Iniesta, Bojan (Krkic) and Xavi," said the coach.

"From now on he will only play the last half-hour of matches. During pre-season we put in some great performances without him."

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.