Slavia Prague defender David Hovorka goes wild after successfully tackling Barcelona star Lionel Messi

After years of strikers celebrating goals in eccentric fashion, it’s about time defenders celebrated perfect sliding tackles.

Slavia Prague fought valiantly against Barcelona on Wednesday evening, but ultimately came up short in a 2-1 Champions League group stage defeat. 

And defender David Hovorka epitomised the Czech side’s never-say-die attitude with a perfect last-ditch tackle on Lionel Messi.

Slavia Prague defender David Hovorka (R) tackles Barcelona star Lionel Messi

Slavia Prague defender David Hovorka (R) tackles Barcelona star Lionel Messi

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner went racing into the Slavia penalty area but was stopped in his tracks when Hovorka rapidly swept the ball away and out for a corner. 

The 26-year-old rose to his feet and snarled in celebration before ordering his team-mates to defend the set piece. 

Hovorka’s joyful reaction after dispossessing Messi was symbolic of the forward’s fine performance at Sinobo Stadium. The forward scored his 113th Champions League goal after just three minutes.

The Argentine started and finished a flowing move to give the visitors the lead but Slavia bounced back after half-time when Jan Boril fired beyond Marc-Andre ter Stegen. 

Peter Olayinka’s unfortunate own goal separated the two sides as Barca moved top of Group F with seven points from three games. 

Lionel Messi celebrates with Arthur after giving Barcelona the lead at Slavia Prague

Lionel Messi celebrates with Arthur after giving Barcelona the lead at Slavia Prague

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