'Messi is the best player in the world' - Barca boss Luis Enrique after UCL win

Barcelona boss Luis Enrique is running out of metaphors to describe "best player in the world" Lionel Messi after another clinical performance from the striker saw Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola leave Camp Nou a beaten man once again.

The Premier League leaders made a lively start to their Champions League meeting with Barcelona, but a hat trick from Messi, a late Neymar goal and a string of mistakes from the visitors proved the difference on the night.

It was the second time Guardiola had returned to Barca since leaving the club in 2012 and it was the second time that one of his sides was undone by Messi -- the first being when the 29-year-old scored two goals against his Bayern Munich in the semifinal of the same competition 18 months ago.

"It's clear that Messi is the best player in the world," Enrique said after getting the better of his former Barca teammate Guardiola.

"He is the complete interpretation of everything football is. It would be naive to doubt Leo. He's once again been decisive.

"He was present in all the game's important moments. And he even made them nervous when they gifted him the first goal! It's what happens when you give a centimetre to our most dangerous player.

"We saw his ability to clinically finish his chances as if he was in his own back yard or on a school pitch."

However, Enrique was willing to concede that the scoreline flattered his side. Ilkay Gundogan and John Stones both had good chances for City at 1-0, but a series of errors ultimately cost the English side on the night.

The biggest blunder came from Claudio Bravo on his return to Barca, the club he left in the summer. Gifting the ball to Luis Suarez, he stopped the Uruguay international's goal-bound effort with his hands outside of the area and received a straight red card eight minutes into the second half.

Barca boss Enrique admitted that it was a moment that changed the game: "I didn't think City looked bad at all, but of course the red card is decisive. It makes a huge difference.

"Of course I'd rather play 10 than 11 and it's one of those things that happens. Maybe a team like City, they could have made it worse for us. That happens, but we were able to press and take our chances.

"Little details always change games like these and making the most of (their) mistakes is key and we were able to do that. Some of those mistakes were maybe due to our pressure, but there are also mistakes, all the time.

"Teams who play from the back know it happens. We know in the long run it's worth it and we need to accept these mistakes as it's part of football."