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18:48 GMT +3 hours19 December 2014
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Spartak Must Seize Initiative from Messi - Emery

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Barcelona's Lionel Messi must not be allowed to take the iniative if Spartak Moscow are to achieve success against the Spanish giants in the Champions League on Wednesday, Spartak coach Unai Emery said Tuesday.

Barcelona's Lionel Messi must not be allowed to take the iniative if Spartak Moscow are to achieve success against the Spanish giants in the Champions League on Wednesday, Spartak coach Unai Emery said Tuesday.

Messi came off the bench to score twice in Barcelona's 4-1 win over Getafe on Saturday.

"Messi is a very great, brilliant player and any opponent who plays him knows you need to isolate, not let him play a pass, end a passing move," he said.

"Obviously, it's desirable to work on that together to try not to give him the initiative. That's the best option."

But tactics based purely around stopping Messi are dangerous because they ignore Barcelona's strength in depth, Emery said.

"But if we only think about Messi we will forget other players who also play wonderfully and who are also capable of deciding the result of the game."

Emery previously coached Valencia and Almeria before joining Spartak at the end of last season. His teams have played Barcelona 12 teams but he has yet to taste victory.