A full house at the Estádio Sport Lisboa e Benfica did not get the chance to see Lionel Messi score, but they did catch the FC Barcelona forward close to his best as he inspired the 2009 and 2011 UEFA Champions League winners to another victory. The 25-year-old created both goals in a 2-0 defeat of SL Benfica, setting up Alexis Sánchez in the first half and Cesc Fàbregas in the second with typical elan, but "three more precious points" were what pleased the Argentinian most. Benfica duo Artur and Enzo Pérez recognised the visitors' quality, although both pointed to an inability to take some good first-half chances as a key factor in their side's demise.
Lionel Messi, Barcelona forward
We played a great game tonight in a stadium where it's very difficult to play. Benfica are a very good team and made our job difficult. We still managed to impose our game, and created a lot of goalscoring opportunities. Benfica had some chances, but we were worthy winners. Now we're going to continue working to qualify and to reach the next stage.
I was happy to be the source of both the goals but what interests me most is the victory and getting three more precious points.
Artur, Benfica goalkeeper
We were very good against fantastic opponents. We already knew about the quality of Barcelona, who are a difficult team to face. They have top-quality players.
It's true that we could have scored, especially in the first half and, against Barcelona, the chances that you miss end up costing you dearly. We're going to continue working and we're looking to win the next game, against Spartak Moskva.
Enzo Pérez, Benfica forward
It was a difficult match against very dangerous opponents. In the first half we could have scored but Barcelona, with players of such a high standard, didn't miss their chances and that's why they ended up with the three points. They're unbelievable in midfield and the way in which they move the ball is very efficient. They're a very tough team to play against. It's up to us to look at what we didn't do so well and improve for the next match, which takes on real importance now.
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