By scoring Barcelona's opening goal in the 61st minute, Messi moved to 106 career Champions League goals for Barcelona.
Their final match of the group stage is at home to Mauricio Pochettino's side on Tuesday, 11 December, when Inter host bottom side PSV.
The former Spain manager also expressed delight at how open La Liga is at the moment: "It's good that Sevilla are the leaders and that LaLiga is equal because it means other teams have more possibilities".
"It is our style of play that we take a lot of risks", said Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde. It is only once again the confirmation that we can very well keep up with these teams'.
PSV had two golden chances of their own late in the first half, but Luuk de Jong saw his towering header hit the crossbar before Denzel Dumfries somehow failed to bundle the rebound home. This goal is not even a surprise to see anymore from the Argentine but we should not play down just how hard and spectacular this goal is. "PSV began to believe they had a chance and play long balls, but in the end we got the result we came here for".
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Missing the injured Luis Suarez, Messi was operating in the number nine role for Barcelona, and the Argentine started to see more of the ball as the first half developed.
Ronaldo collected his fifth award previous year, but appears unlikely to retain his crown and move ahead of bitter rival Messi.
PSV coach Mark van Bommel - himself a Champions League victor with Barcelona in his playing days - started with his regular lineup that has won all 13 of its Dutch Eredivisie matches this season but failed to register a victory in the Champions League.
Here's a detailed look at every player's performance on the night.
Messi made sure Barcelona won anyway.