The Barcelona defender hailed his team-mate after helping make it a miserable Camp Nou return for Pep Guardiola
Javier Mascherano conceded Lionel Messi was “impossible to describe” after his fellow Argentine put Barcelona on the brink of the Champions League final.
Messi scored twice in the final 13 minutes and then laid on a third for Neymar as Barca beat Bayern Munich – and former coach Pep Guardiola – 3-0 to take a significant step towards the June showpiece in Berlin.
Mascherano told Sky Sports: “We have Messi so it’s an advantage for us. He’s a player that’s impossible to describe. You have to watch him.”
The former Liverpool midfielder felt Guardiola’s tactics played into Barca’s hands, adding: “We knew that Pep would try to win in any stadium. They came to press higher and sometimes when you press higher you take risks. We know that we have people up front with quality.
“It was a tight game, difficult, but we had the best chances to score. We played the game we wanted to play so we are happy.
“We know how difficult it will be in Germany so we have to maintain our mentality and do our job.”
Bayern held out for 77 minutes before Dani Alves dispossessed Juan Bernat, fed Messi and the four time Ballon d’Or winner did the rest with a low shot which beat Manuel Neuer at his near post.
Messi added a brilliant second before playing in Neymar to run through and slot the ball coolly under the advancing Neuer in stoppage time.
“We were lucky to score, we found some spaces to play on the counterattack,” said Mascherano. “It’s important that when we drop deep we have the players we have, like Neymar, [Luis] Suarez and Messi.”