Champions League: Pochettino reveals Tottenham’s game plan to stop Barcelona’s Messi

Tottenham Hotspur coach, Mauricio Pochettino has revealed his side’s game plan to stop Barcelona ace, Lionel Messi when both teams clash on Wednesday night in the Champions League.

According to Pochettino, Spurs cannot afford to give Messi an inch in tomorrow’s crucial game against the La Liga champions.

The 46-year-old said that his players must not give the Barca No. 10 any space to have the ball, so as to keep him out of game.

Messi has gone two games without a goal but still has eight in nine appearances this season, including a sublime hat-trick in the 4-0 win over PSV a fortnight ago.

“It’s very clear, very simple, we need to be near him [Messi] when he gets the ball,” Metro UK quoted Pochettino as saying at pre-match.

“If we give him space he will get away from his marker.

“What we need is to have players helping each other. We need to demand sacrifice and they will expend a lot of energy.

“I think we are in a different period, Pochettino added. “Plenty of our players were involved in the World Cup and until we arrived at Real Madrid it was our biggest game.

“Then they played in the World Cup. Now you cannot motivate in the same way as you did one year-ago. Maybe it is the same players.

“It’s about enjoying the game tomorrow and the best player in the world is Messi.

“Football is not a drama but always it’s about being focused, competitive and enjoying playing against the best player in the world. Be optimistic and be happy and smile when you go on the pitch. Don’t be too serious.”



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