How to Stop Messi? Dortmund Coach Favre Suggests Tactic to Deny Barcelona Star

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    Soccer Football - Champions League - Group F - FC Barcelona v Borussia Dortmund - Camp Nou, Barcelona, Spain - November 27, 2019 Barcelona's Lionel Messi reacts after he is shown a yellow card by referee Clement Turpin REUTERS/Albert Gea
    Soccer Football - Champions League - Group F - FC Barcelona v Borussia Dortmund - Camp Nou, Barcelona, Spain - November 27, 2019 Barcelona's Lionel Messi reacts after he is shown a yellow card by referee Clement Turpin REUTERS/Albert Gea

    Borussia Dortmund coach Lucien Favre has revealed the only way to stop Lionel Messi, after the Barcelona star destroyed his team in a 3-1 victory.

    Messi scored and provided two assists as Barca secured top spot in Group F in the Champions League at Camp Nou on Wednesday.

    Making his 700th appearance for the La Liga giants, Messi broke a Champions League record by scoring against a 34th different team.

    Favre, who is under pressure at the helm of Dortmund, was mesmerised by the star’s performance.

    “He played as a false nine and was simply incredible,” Favre told a news conference.

    “He waits really well for the ball and moves very well between the lines. And when he gets the ball, it gets pretty complicated.

    “You have to commit a foul in order to stop him. Otherwise it’s very, very difficult.

    “He is speeding up so fast, his dribbling is so good and then his final pass is also very dangerous.”

    Barcelona had already topped the group but have confirmed their place in the next phase as pool winners, with Dortmund’s fate no longer in their own hands on the closing matchday.

    Luis Suarez scored from Messi’s pass to open the scoring and then turned provider for the skipper as Barca scored twice in the space of five first-half minutes.

    Messi, reportedly set to win a sixth Ballon d’Or next week, added a second assist to a typically glittering individual display by setting up Antoine Griezmann to seal matters after the break with substitute Jadon Sancho firing home late on for Dortmund.

    The result left the German side third and level on seven points with second-placed Inter heading into the final matchday in Group F.

    Dortmund take on Slavia Prague on December 10, while Inter welcome group winners Barca to Milan on the same day.

    The Black and Yellows have been struggling in the Bundesliga, currently sitting sixth on the standings, five points behind league leaders Borussia Monchengladbach.

    Dortmund has only won three of their past 10 league matches, and their last two results have been a 4-0 loss to Bayern Munich and a 3-3 draw with Paderborn.

    They face a dangerous away clash on Sunday as they meet Hertha in Berlin, who have just appointed new coach Jurgen Klinsmann.

    The club’s manager Lucien Favre has been under pressure following the poor run of form, with Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc giving the coach an ultimatum prior to the Barca match .