Messi guides Barca to top Champions League group
Eindhoven: Barcelona overcame PSV Eindhoven 2-1 on Wednesday to finish top of their Champions League group with one round remaining thanks to a Lionel Messi goal and assist.
Messi and Gerard Pique scored to claim the La Liga outfit’s first win since November 3 across all competitions.
Captain Luuk de Jong netted for the Mark van Bommel’s team who are top and unbeaten of the Dutch league.
The home side had the best chances of the first half as de Jong’s shot hit the cross bar and defender Denzel Dumfries’ follow-up re-bounded off the post moments before the break.
Messi tested Jeroen Zoet with a curling effort but the goalkeeper parried it away to safety five minutes after the restart.
On the hour mark Messi picked the ball up on the half way line, laid it off to Ousmane Dembele then received it back from the Frenchman inside the penalty area before beating a stunned Zoet at his front post.
With 20 minutes to play Messi crossed a short free-kick to unmarked Pique in the PSV box and finished easily past Zoet.
De Jong made amends from his earlier miss lobbing Ter Stegen from six yards with a header in the closing stages.
PSV went searching for only their second point of the European campaign but unbeaten Barca held on to claim the win and top spot before welcoming Tottenham to the Camp Nou in two weeks’ time.