While Karim Benzema was tapping in back-heeled objectives and Toni Kroos was changing set-pieces on the sting of the field, Barcelona as a substitute needed to flip to central defender Oscar Mingueza to supply some second-half inspiration together with his surprising purpose.
Indeed, this potential Spanish title decider was a recreation that Messi struggled to dictate from begin to end and once we take a look at the stats all through the match we will see precisely why.
How Messi struggled in opposition to Real Madrid
Perhaps the obvious concern with Messi’s efficiency on Saturday night time was the truth that the ahead failed to attain a single purpose. The Argentina worldwide was in tremendous kind going into El Clasico, with 10 objectives from his final 10 video games however on a moist, water-logged pitch in Madrid the Barcelona star really struggled.
For instance, over the course of the sport Messi managed to hit seven photographs in the direction of purpose. No different participant on the pitch managed to try as many, but it surely’s price making an allowance for that solely two of these seven possibilities had been on track and a kind of on-target makes an attempt was a back-post volley that was smothered by Thibaut Courtois.
Indeed, “smothered” might be the proper phrase to explain Messi’s output over the course of the night time. Aside from the 2 possibilities he bought on track, the opposite 5 photographs that the Barcelona ahead tried had been in actual fact blocked by close by Madrid gamers. Wherever the tough ahead went, there all the time appeared to be a close-by defender to snuff him out.
If Messi couldn’t rating himself, he might at the very least attempt to create objectives for his staff mates. But, once more, this was one other space of the participant’s recreation that was uncharacteristically missing all through the sport.
On Saturday Messi managed simply two key passes, one via ball and 4 crosses in open play. And whereas he touched the ball and handed it greater than most Barcelona gamers, he additionally misplaced possession seven occasions – greater than some other participant on the pitch.
While Messi was on no account the worst participant on the pitch for Barcelona, he additionally wasn’t the very best both. And, contemplating the requirements the participant units himself, he’ll undoubtedly be disillusioned with how Saturday’s El Clasico went.