Barcelona: Rafinha replaced Lionel Messi and helped Barcelona win without him as the Brazilian scored the opener in a 2-0 Champions League victory over Inter Milan, Wednesday.
With Messi out for three weeks and Real Madrid next up at the Camp Nou Sunday, the question was whether Barca could cope without their star player and captain. The answer may not have been resounding – they lacked some punch before Jordi Alba added a late second – but this controlled performance will certainly send them into the Clasico with a spring in their step.
Messi was watching in the stands with his son Thiago and his fractured right arm in a sling. As soon as the ball left the centre circle, the fans sang his name.
Spurs’ KO hopes dented
Mauricio Pochettino conceded Tottenham Hotspur will need little short of a miracle to get past the group stage after the Premier League giants’ Champions League hopes were dented by a 2-2 draw away to PSV Eindhoven.
A dominant Spurs looked to have the points wrapped up after England striker Harry Kane nodded past Jeroen Zoet to give the visitors a 55th-minute lead having seen Lucas Moura level Hirving Lozano’s 30th-minute opener for PSV minutes before the interval.
But when Lozano threatened to catch a through ball in the 78th minute, Spurs keeper Hugo Lloris came rushing out of his goal and caught the Mexican winger with his knee. The Frenchman was immediately shown a red card. Luuk de Jong however struck the equaliser three minutes from time.
Liverpool rout Red Star
Liverpool: Mohamed Salah continued his return to scoring form by taking his tally for Liverpool to 50 goals as the five-time European champions eased past Red Star Belgrade 4-0 at Anfield. The Egyptian struck twice after Roberto Firmino had opened the scoring. Sadio Mane added Liverpool’s fourth soon after missing a penalty.