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Messi's anger and Cristiano's return


They say Leo Messi is at his best when he's angry and last night this was exactly what we witnessed. His more discreet performances can be transformed after suffering a rash challenge that ignites him into action. At present he seems to be in a fiery mood when taking to the pitch, one supposes that this may be linked with the ongoing situation at the club. His mood propels him on to perform punishing the opposition with goal after goal. He bagged a brace against Juventus last night and was instrumental in the build-up leading to Rakitic's strike. His double in the Champions League opener were also his first goals against veteran goalkeeper Gigi Buffon.

Barcelona’s Lionel Messi celebrates scoring their first goal
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Barcelona’s Lionel Messi celebrates scoring their first goalALBERT GEAREUTERS

Atleti draw blank in Rome

At the same time Atleti offered a decent display in Rome. One player who stood out for me was Thomas, who developed through the club's youth system and is blossoming under his mentor Simeone. Alongside  Gabi, Saúl and Koke, Atlético dominated the midfield at the Olimpico and created plenty of chances. It's a shame that Griezmann appears somewhat sluggish and that Vietto has yet to really shine for the club. Roma goalkeeper Alisson warrants a special mention too, as he stopped everything that was thrown at him. Atlético did everything but win and it was a shame that in the dying seconds Saúl missed a sitter when it looked easier to score.

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Madrid  and Sevilla in action

Tonight it's the turn of Real Madrid and Sevilla. We'll see the return to action of Cristiano who still has one game of his five match league ban to sit out. Zidane admitted yesterday that the club lack another No. 9 but Cristiano's return alleviates the issue somewhat and let's not forget the Madeira born player is the all-time top scorer in the Champions League with 105 goals. The recent "Trofeo Bernabéu" and his international matches with Portugal have kept him match-fit and the Bernabéu is keenly anticipating his return. Sevilla are in Liverpool where they'll repeat the 2016 Europa League final. ‘This is Anfield’ and ‘You’ll never walk alone” will not intimidate the Andalusian outfit as they themselves have their own fantastic anthem.