Messi is hungry for the Champions League
Wednesday’s game was all about Lionel Messi, as the Barcelona captain put in an unforgettable display and showed just how much he wants to win this competition.
He’s already spoken about how the team plan to do everything they can to bring the European Cup back to the Camp Nou and is proving it on the pitch with five goals in two games.
As well as the goals, the creativity, the dribbles and the utter genius on show, his hunger and desire were incredible.
With 89 minutes on the clock and the score at 3-2 he was still trying to burst forwards, shrugging off challenges and snapping away when he lost the ball.
A minute later it was all over as he bagged Barcelona’s fourth.
Jordi Alba performance raises Dembele questions
Jordi Alba came away from the game with three assists and put in the kind of performance where he seems to be absolutely everywhere.
He defended, linked up well with the attack and completely dominated the left side of the pitch.
The absence of Ousmane Dembele seemed to help free Alba which raises questions about where the Frenchman should fit into the team.
Alba flourished last season after Neymar had left and admitted the Brazilian’s departure had left him with more space to run into.
The same looked true on Wednesday night which suggests that to get the best out of Alba Barcelona may need to switch Dembele over to the right.
Valverde gets his team selection right
Ernesto Valverde has been happy to chop and change his team so far this season, but Wednesday was the first time he really seemed to get his team selection spot on.
Barcelona were under a bit of pressure after going three games without a win and it was a brave decision to bring in Arthur for his first Champions League start in favour of Dembele.
Yet the decision paid off and then some. Arthur lived up to all the hype that’s been surrounding him with a performance that brought even more Xavi comparisons.
The team also looked far more balanced with a four-man midfield, as Barcelona put in arguably their best performance of the season so far.
Defensive concerns remain
There’s no escaping the fact that Barcelona have looked defensively vulnerable this season, and while they were much better at Wembley there were still a few wobbles.
Barcelona were in complete control at 2-0 but got a bit sloppy and allowed Spurs back into in through Harry Kane’s goal.
They did the same thing at 3-1, as Erik Lamela’s strike deflected off Clement Lenglet and beat Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
Nelson Semedo had a few shaky moments and the back four were never completely convincing which encouraged Spurs and made for a nervy finish.
Time to get excited about Arthur
One of the biggest positives from Wednesday’s game was the performance of Arthur who delivered an impressive display at Wembley.
The 22-year-old has been forced to be patient since joining from Gremio, but he was given the opportunity to impress against Spurs and grabbed it with both hands.
He looked completely at home in the Barcelona midfield, helped control the game and put in an incredibly accomplished performance for a player making his first Champions League start.
And the best thing is, he’s only going to get better.