Spurs pushed hard for the equaliser and almost had it in the 84th minute when Lucas Moura broke free in the Barcelona area only to see his shot from 8 yards out deflect off Lenglet and out of touch.
A lot was made before the match of this being a good time to play Barcelona due to their three-game winless run, but injuries meant that this was far from an opportune time for Mauricio Pochettino's men to be facing one of Europe's most risky teams.
"For 45 minutes, we didn't concede one chance to Messi - but of course when we are 2-0 down and you give more space as we are attacking", Pochettino said.More news: New Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K supports Dolby Vision, Atmos and HDR10+
Most of Barcelona's team are household names but one you may be less familiar with is Arthur. When I look back and say I played against - in my opinion - the greatest player to ever play football, it will be a proud moment.
But Pochettino rejected the opinion that Messi had nearly single-handedly dismantled his team, adding: "We didn't concede one chance to Messi in the first half. In the second half, he had more space and that is hard to stop", added Pochettino.
"In the second half, with a lot of space, it's unbelievable how much he ran and dribbled and the possibilities to score, but come on".
"We can't talk about topics, we need to talk about reality. Then you would have said 'we are heroes and the manager is the best in the world'".
Tottenham's fatigue is largely down to the World Cup exertions of many of Pochettino's players, but also a result of the lack of new additions during the summer. My dad is always asking me for his shirt. I'm not going to complain about the pitch. What can we do? "It will be tough because they are must-win games", Pochettino said. "We..." Spurs put up a better fight after the interval, but Barcelona's second win in eight away Champions League games is a positive sign the LaLiga giants are getting back on track. "We still think the same - that all is possible".