Pochettino's players will not forget the Barcelona captain in a hurry and neither will the 82,137 fans who saw the 31-year-old deliver a masterclass performance, in which he scored twice and orchestrated so much more to inspire Barcelona's 4-2 victory over Spurs in Group B of the Champions League. But Messi - who was at the center of almost all of the Spaniards' best moves, spraying passes around the field at will - twice beat Spurs' World Cup-winning keeper Lloris, but both shots clanged off the left post.
They pushed for a late victor but it was Messi that got the sixth goal of the game.
The goal was the result of a bad error from Hugo Lloris, making his first start since a spell on the side lines with injury.
Ernesto Valverde made a big call by bringing in Arthur for Arturo Vidal - one of three changes from the draw with Athletic Bilbao at the weekend - and it paid off as Barca dictated the flow of the game for large parts. "I think our players were heroes to chase the game against a team with Messi, Luis Suarez and Philippe Coutinho".
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"If we start the game this way, it's so tough for the players". When you're scoring as many goals as he is - 40, 50 or 60 goals a season - as a striker, I want to try and match that.
Or Messi did. As Suarez let the ball go past him, the unmarked Messi tapped into an open net in the 90th to put the score beyond the reach of a Tottenham side which has never lifted the European Cup.
Barca pushed for more goal as the second resumed, as Messi rattled the upright twice in the opening five minutes. Spurs put up a better fight after the interval, but Barcelona's second win in eight away Champions League games is a positive sign the LaLiga giants are getting back on track.
Lamela's deflected strike wrongfooted Ter Stegen and ensured a fantastic finale but, with Spurs committing men forward, Alba seized on a loose pass to set up Messi to sweep home his second. In defence, Pochettino goes with Toby Alderweireld and Davinson Sanchez.
It was a near faultless performance from the Argentine but Pochettino was happy with how Spurs dealt with him in the first half although conceded he was hard to stop as the game developed.