Messi guides Barca to top Champions League group

Messi guides Barca to top Champions League group

Messi guides Barca to top Champions League group

"They created lots of chances".

PSV manager and former Barcelona midfielder Mark Van Bommel could not disguise his disappointment at an opportunity lost for the Dutch champions, who will finish bottom of the group.

Barcelona was without the injured Luis Suarez, with Ousmane Dembele taking his place.

Coincidentally, that change first happened on a Champions League night in the Netherlands, against Ajax in November 2014. Messi, of course, is on 106 UCL goals.

"My team created lots of unsafe chances too, but it was a game which was too open".

Both Sergio Busquets and Ivan Rakitic were guilty of some bad passes early on that could have got the Catalans into trouble.

"PSV created danger because of us giving the ball away", he said.

PSV unlucky not to go into the break at least one goal in front after twice hitting the frame of the goal.

Barca: The club hasn't won any of its last three games, drawing two and losing one.

The Spanish champions had already booked their spot in the first knockout round ahead of kickoff, but sealed first spot in the section with second-half goals from Lionel Messi and Gerard Pique.

"I'm not entirely sure how Messi scored that goal", said Valverde.

De Jong grabbed a consolation goal for the home fans with an 83rd-minute header to set up a frenetic late assault, but despite pouring forward in the closing minutes PSV could not find an equalizer.

Of course, it is in the months to come that Messi's determination to win will be put to the test, but the Argentine is in the kind of form that could drive Barcelona all the way to the final in Madrid next June.

Barca were thankful to Messi for stirring them after a below-par hour of play in which they could have been punished by the hosts.

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