Neymar vs Bayern Munich: Lionel Messi's zero-goal game vs Man City in 2015 was even better

Lionel Messi

Neymar had the footballing world eating out of his hands during Paris Saint-Germain's Champions League clash with Bayern Munich on Tuesday evening. 

The Brazilian was at his enchanting best, weaving beyond bewildered Bayern defenders and offering a perennial threat throughout the 90 minutes. 

It was the type of exceptional display on the grand stage that separates the great from the world-class players in football, and Mauricio Pochettino hailed his first-half performance as the best of the 2020/21 season. 

The only thing missing was a goal but the former Barcelona star did twice go close by striking the woodwork. 

It wasn't to be his day in front of goal but it's a performance that will live long in the memory of a besotted universal audience. 

However, this wasn't the best 'zero-goal' display (any game in which a player doesn't score a single goal) in the history of the Champions League. 

Few players have produced such a comparable masterclass in recent memory, but a six-year voyage back in time takes us to a display from Lionel Messi that was even more mesmerising than what we witnessed from Neymar this week. 


In light of Neymar's performance at Parc Des Princes, a compilation of Messi in action against Manchester City in 2015 resurfaced. 

Barcelona drew City in the last-16 of the Champions League and they travelled away from home to the Etihad Stadium for the first leg.

Messi scored a goal in each leg to help knock Manuel Pellegrini's side out at the exact same stage in the season prior, and the then Premier League title holders were acutely aware of what to expect. 

But, as so many clubs have discovered down the years, no amount of knowledge or preparation can mitigate the threat posed by Messi. 

The Argentine was at his ethereal best and appeared to act purely on intuition, playing with the type of freedom that you'd expect to see on a five-a-side pitch.

But this was the Champions League, the most prestigious competition in world football.

For Messi, it appeared to be just another game. 

You can watch the stunning highlights from his display in the video below: 

And the quality of his display certainly captured the imagination of fans on social media. 

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Messi didn't score on the night, but he did have an opportunity to find the net from the penalty spot in the 94th minute. 

Having been upended by his compatriot Pablo Zabaleta in the penalty area, Messi stepped up to take the spot kick but was denied by Joe Hart. 

Barcelona eventually went on to secure their place in the quarter-final with a 3-1 aggregate win. 

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