Lionel Messi scored two goals in the last five minutes of play to lift FC Barcelona to a 2-1 win over Shakhtar Donetsk tonight on the second date of the UEFA Champions League’s group phase.

Barça had a mediocre performance, particularly in the first half. Pep Guardiola’s men had most of the possession but their attacking play lacked speed and clarity. Shakhtar had already threatened early on with their counter attacks and eventually opened the score right before the end of the first period when Ilsinho took advantage of a defensive misunderstanding to beat Valdés’s goal.

Guardiola had decided to leave Leo Messi on the bench at the start of the match, but the need to turn the game around forced him to bring the Argentinian star on after 60 minutes. Messi’s presence on the pitch provided spark to Barça’s play, and the team started to create better scoring chances. The goal did not arrive until the 87th minute, when a mistake by Shakhtar’s keeper found Leo Messi on hand to pick up the ball and score the equalizer. Five minutes later a fine pass by Xavi found Messi clear on the left side of the box; Leo lifted the ball brilliantly over the keeper and into the net to get his second goal and give his side the three points.

Barcelona sit at the top of the Group C table with six points from two games. Coming up next for them is an exciting league clash with Atlético Madrid at the Camp Nou on Saturday.