Lionel Messi saves Barcelona’s La Liga aspirations

Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona celebrates with teammates. (Photo by Mateo Villalba/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona celebrates with teammates. (Photo by Mateo Villalba/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images) /

Lionel Messi has always had a guaranteed place in the Barcelona lineup ever since he started performing at the top level for the club. This year is extremely uncomfortable as for the first time in many years Barca do not have enough depth to withstand the many injuries they have suffered this season.

More from Everything Barca

Coach Koeman has struggled to give every player ample rest but it is a necessary part of the game. There have been many cases where Ronald Koeman has benched superstar Lionel Messi this season. One of the main reasons is to avoid any injuries to the captain.

However, when asked by media, the former Everton manager has stated multiple times that the player does not need to be overplayed every game and that Messi will let the coaching staff know if he ever feels any discomfort.

The Dutch coach has often chosen to rest the Argentine, and a similar incident occurred against Real Betis where the 33-year-old was dropped to the bench.

But Barca are known to struggle without Leo’s presence. The game started with the Argentine being on the bench and inevitably the lack of a leader was spotted. The Blaugranas were  1-0 down at the half time.

The team looked to be struggling to break through the Betis defense. However, the Argentine was introduced and right after his introduction, he scored the equalizer in fantastic fashion. This was Messi’s fastest goal in La Liga, coming off the bench.

Things took a turn for the good as the team went 2-1 up and Messi’s presence was clearly visible. The Argentine started pulling strings and creating chances. But not long after the Catalans went 2-1 up, they concede another equalizer from Manuel Pellegrini’s men in the 75th minute. However, young Trincao produced a fantastic left-footed effort in the 87th minute to get the winner.

Ronald Koeman’s Barcelona currently sits 7 points behind Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid at second place. The level of impact the magician has on the time was again proved as Lionel Messi made the difference in mentality and character with that crucial Equalizer.

6 Barcelona youngsters to take over world football in 2021. dark. Next

Can Barca beat Atletico for the La Liga title this season?