Champions League: Injury-free at last, Lionel Messi dazzles in Barca win

first_imgLionel Messi showed Barcelona what they have been missing with his repeated injuries this season by producing a stunning and decisive assist in Wednesday’s 2-1 victory over Inter Milan which kick-started their Champions League campaign.The Argentine was only making his second start of the season in all competitions but helped decide the game with a breathtaking piece of skill to set up Luis Suarez’s second strike of the match in the 84th minute.The Barca captain picked the ball up close to the halfway line on the right wing and dazzled past three Inter players before taking out another with a pass across to Suarez, who took one touch before burying the ball in the net.Inter, who produced a hugely impressive display in the first half, had taken a second-minute lead through Lautaro Martinez which was cancelled out by an outstanding volley from Suarez after the interval.”I’ve just been trying to get going, I’m glad I was able to complete the game and end it well,” Messi told reporters after playing 90 minutes for the first time this season.”I’m tired and I’m lacking a bit of fitness but once I play more games I’ll start feeling more liberated. I feel at my best when I’m playing a lot of games.”Mess returned to pre-season later than the rest of his team mates due to playing in the Copa America and sustained a calf injury on his first day back in training.advertisementRepeated fitness setbacks meant he played only two of Barca’s seven La Liga games, in which the champions have dropped eight points and fallen to fourth in the standings.We are so happy that he was able to play for 90 minutes. We just hope he doesn’t get injured again because it’s always easier when he’s around, Barca goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen said.We are always happy when he is on the pitch and he is able to do what he does best – provide passes, assists and goals.Also Read | Champions League: Liverpool win seven-goal thriller after stunning Salzburg fightbacklast_img read more

UK faces strikehit Christmas by post train and air

FILE – In this Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016 file photo, passengers queue up for an express train to Gatwick Airport, running a reduced service as a result of a train strike, in Victoria rail station London. The United Kingdom faces a Christmas of discontent as labor unions threaten to disrupt airports, rail services and mail deliveries. The Unite union and aviation services company Swissport announced negotiation plans Saturday, Dec. 17 intended to avert a Dec. 23 walkout by 1,500 baggage handlers, check-in staff and other workers at 18 airports. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham, file) UK faces strike-hit Christmas by post, train and air by The Associated Press Posted Dec 17, 2016 9:10 am MDT Last Updated Dec 17, 2016 at 12:20 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email LONDON – The United Kingdom faces a Christmas of discontent as labour unions threaten to disrupt airports, rail services and mail deliveries.The Unite union and aviation services company Swissport announced negotiation plans Saturday intended to avert a Dec. 23 walkout by 1,500 baggage handlers, check-in staff and other workers at 18 regional airports from Belfast to Bournemouth.Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said he hoped “fairness will prevail” in Tuesday’s talks.Swissport retorted that it had made several pay-rise offers to Unite-represented staff since April 2015, but “a minority of trade union members are acting in a cynical fashion to disrupt the travel plans of the public and attempt to hold employers to ransom.”At British Airways, a fourth of the airline’s cabin crew members are planning a two-day strike starting on Christmas, Dec. 25. British Airways condemned Unite’s timing and vowed to ensure that all customers reached their holiday destinations.“This calculated and heartless action is completely unnecessary and we are determined that it will fail,” the airline said in a statement.McCluskey countered that the airline “needs to come to the table with a positive offer.”Rolling strikes by two unions at Southern Railway already have disrupted much of England’s train services this month, with worker protests over cutbacks in overtime scheduled to go on until Jan. 14.To top things off, the U.K. Communication Workers Union plans a Post Office strike starting Monday through Christmas Eve. read more