Barcelona secured a hard-fought victory over Sporting Lisbon in Portugal last night as Ernesto Valverde’s side made it eight wins in a row in all competitions.
The Blaugrana were helped by two own goals in their 3-0 win over Girona last weekend and it was another own goal that saw them overcome Sporting, Sebastian Coates the guilty player.
It wasn’t Barça’s finest performance but Valverde will take it.
"We knew that in order to win here we would have to suffer against strong opposition," the Spaniard said after the win, per Sport.
"I think we began the game in a determined manner. We dominated the first half, although we were exposed to Sporting's counter-attacks - they're very quick.
"After the goal we had 10, 15 minutes when they put us under pressure and we lost the ball at times, which created insecurity. They had chances, but we could have killed the game off, too... that's how the Champions League is."
For the second game in a row, Lionel Messi was kept off the scoresheet. But that didn’t stop him from producing moments of magic, as this video showed.
A pitch invader ran towards Messi
Messi’s most noteworthy moment, however, came when a young pitch invader ran on to meet him.
It must be an incredibly nervy moment for Messi but he handled it brilliantly, giving the young fan a hug, saying a few words to him and even letting him kiss his left boot.
Class. It’s not the first time this has happened to the five-time Ballon d’Or winner but how he manages to remain so calm is impressive.
Sporting fans responded with CR7 chants
Messi was playing in the former home of Cristiano Ronaldo and Sporting fans reminded the Argentinian who they prefer immediately after the incident, with chants of “Cristiano Ronaldo!” ringing out around the Estadio Jose Alvalade.
No concern over Suarez
Barça fans aren’t concerned at the fact that Messi failed to score - he’s already bagged 12 goals this season - but there are questions surrounding Luis Suarez, who has scored just twice.
But Valverde isn’t concerned about the Uruguayan’s form and came to his defence.
"Luis Suarez scored on Saturday [at Girona]," the 53-year-old added.
“I would be worried if he wasn't getting near the goal, but he's always close.
Even in the goal today, he was there, close. I'm sure he will get back to scoring again.”
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