Lionel MESSI shines in El Clasico for Barcelona

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Lionel MESSI once more continues to shine in an El Clasico match.

Days after Cristiano RONALDO’s comments about being the best player in the world, Lionel MESSI outshone the Portuguese in the invetible one on one comparison battle between the two. The little number 10 scored and assisted (a ridiculous one at that) in FC Barcelona’s 3-0 win against Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeau.

A shaky first half for the Catalan’s saw Real Madrid score through Cristiano RONALDO but the goal was rightly called off due to offside. The second half was an entirely different match. While being man marked by Mateo Kovacic (Croatian international who is in Argentina’s 2018 FIFA World Cup group), the man marking left Ivan RAKITIC (fellow Croat) run freely through the middle of the pitch as he slid a pass to Sergi ROBERTO who then assisted Luis SUAREZ for Barcelona’s first goal.

Ten minutes after the opening goal, Real Madrid’s CARVAJAL stopped a shot from going in with his hand and a penalty was awarded. Up stepped Lionel MESSI who made no mistake, scoring an El Clasico 25th goal. The third goal was MESSI taking MARCELO to the cleaners. With one shoe on and the other on the ground, Lionel dribble through MARCELONA before cutting it back to Aleix VIDAL for the third goal.

Lionel Messi assists in an El Clasico without a shoe.
Lionel Messi assists in an El Clasico without a shoe.

With his goal against Madrid, MESSI becomes the all time goal scorer for a single European club (in the Top 5 leagues) surpassing Gerd MULLER as Lionel is now on 526 goals.

Lionel MESSI’s record in El Clasico

Goals: 25 (record)
Assists: 13 (record)
Hattricks: 2 (record)

Lionel MESSI at the Santiago Bernabeu

Matches: 19
Goals: 15
Assists: 8

Looking at those numbers, more than 50% of MESSI’s goals in a Clasico have come at Real Madrid’s stadium. An insane figure by the world’s best player.

33 Comments

  1. When ever there is any Doubt go with 4-4-2 its plain n simple, Now a days Barca is also using the basic 4-4-2 flat formation, not the diamond version(Which Real is using), Its a very basic simple formation, Why cant we use it?? We have so many doubts in so many positions. Well Sampa says we don’t have any body like Marcelo or Dany Alves,thats why he goes for 3 at back, Cant say which formation is perfect each coach will have separate ideas, Sampa will master 3-4-3 i guess, He is using this formation for a reason, He must know we don’t have fast defenders & Not very great Midfield too, But still he prefers it, So he must have a solution, is int it.

    Off the topic he was caught drunken driving last night. Ooopss

    • Yes I think it’s the only way. In reality the barca fullbacks spent more time on attacking than defending. For example during the classico, if Sergi Roberto did not come back in time, it was Pique who covered him. Permanently they stay 3 defenders behind.

      So fundamentally, it’s not that different, as in Barca, the 2 Argentine wingers need to run a lot, defend high and have good affinity with Messi. Sampaoli initially used Acuna + Salvio or Gomez initially, they are the perfect candidates for this role. Later on, Sampaoli switched to 3-3-3-1 in order to have higher possession and he used Di Maria+Pavon, more creative players but less defensive, that introduced some imbalance against Nigeria.

      The midfield Enzo Perez-Kranevitter-Lo Celso has similar role and profile comparing to that of Paulinho-Busquets-Iniesta. Of course individually hard to compare with the barca guys but to be fair, they played well together against Russia. The main reason why Lo Celso is preferred to Lanzini and Pastore because Sampaoli probably want more people in the transition area so that Messi can stay high on the pitch.

      I believe that Sampaoli is closed to his starting XI with the midfield I mentioned above, Salvio on the right and Acuna on the left. When things go wrong, Lanzini, Pavon and Di Maria may step in.

  2. Nicolas Otamendi signed a new contract for Man City which will tie him to the club untill 2022.

    Otamendi has turned into a hell of a defender under Pep. He made 152 passes vs Bournemouth on Saturday. The whole Bournemouth team made 250 passes in total. I think he is Argentina’s most important player after Messi and Mascherano (due to his experience).

    • I agree @Dadir10, he gives us world class at the back, balls amd leadership. He also is our most dangerous player in the air, which is crucial habing them in the team, both defending and scoring from set plays.

  3. Angel Di Mari liked pictures of Barcelona players’ photos from El Classico posted on Instagram. Does that mean we will soon see him on Barcelona shirt?

    • Currently I don’t think other club than Barca is interested in him and can pay his transfer fee and his salary in the same time. Given that PSG need to see in order to comply with the Fifa’s financial fair-play rules, almost deal done.

      His situation may get a bit better with Barca with Iniesta getting older now, Rakitic less regular than before and Turan, Rafinha and Denis Suarez seem never been the 1st choice of the coach for long time. But if the young Dembele comes back at his best level, that may be a different story. Some French football players and journalists said that he has even higher potential than Mbappe. If true, Di Maria really need to fight hard for his place.

  4. what has happened to Messi’s pace? there was a chance when he was 1v1 on the counter and could have gone on his usual solo run. but he didn’t really go for it. I noticed the same in other matches as well. has he lost that bursting pace or is he saving the fuel to keep himself fit for the wc? it really hurts when it feels like Messi is getting old and can’t make those solo runs around the box. I understand he is adjusting his game. More of his goals are coming from late runs into the box.

      • @SouravBanerjee, I absolutely agree with you. Marcelo couldn’t keep up with Messi’s pace and fell on the ground and that shows Messi still has his devestating pace.

      • I noticed that too. he did the same on the opposite flank in the first half, delivering a cross to Paulinho. But it’s through the middle that Messi seems reluctant to push forward. Obviously going through the middle requires more energy. He needs to maintain his run longer that way & reach the goal himself.

      • I hope he is okay. The desire of watching Messi scoring a Maradona-esque goal to win the wc never really goes away. no matter how old he gets, I always hope he pulls it off one more time.

        • Not gonna happen again he will be tightly marked by 3-4 players I see him more creator in wc rather than scoring yes he will score off course but I don’t expect to score more than 4-5

        • It’s vital he scores in knockout phase Argentina struggling because he naturally shut down by opponents in knockouts that’s the main point messi scores in knockouts we wins

    • imtiaz:
      you make an interesting point and here are the stats for this game
      https://www.101greatgoals.com/news/messi-walked-past-real-madrid-clasico/

      “Leo Messi walked past Real Madrid
      El Periodico have been pouring over the stats in the aftermath of the game, and they’ve revealed how Leo Messi literally walked through most of the match against Madrid.
      According to their data, Messi strolled around the pitch for 83.10% of his man of the match performance.
      Messi trotted for 10.80%, he ran just 4.95%, while he only sprinted 1.15%.
      The implication is that Messi didn’t have to work too hard to lead Barcelona to victory”

      “Despite his walking stats, Messi’s influence was huge. For example he singlehandedly had triple the amount of successful dribbles (6) than Real Madrid (2).

      He also scored a goal, assisted another and created more chances than all Real Madrid players combined”

    • He still does it from time to time but small distance. Mainly due to the 2 main reasons:

      – with age, you lost pace and stamina, impossible to repeat that kind of effort all the time.
      – His role changed, he is more a playmaker, not winger or false 9 anymore. Part of his job is to mislead the opponents and free space for his teammates to score. His partnership with Paulinho is the perfect example.

      Messi is more than solo run, he can read the game, he knows how to place for scoring, how to leverage his teammates force. I saw a football show yesterday and seems that during the classico he spent 80% of his time on walking. Who else can do it during an intensive game in the modern football?

  5. It can be great at World Cup …

    ——————–Romero————————
    —-Musshachio—–Otamendi—–Rojo—-

    ————– pizzaro——-Peredes———–
    Pavon——————Lanzini————Acuna
    ————Messi———-Ageuro———-

  6. Paulinho did little today for creating space for Messi…only after it was 2-0 and real down to 10 did space naturally open up for Messi as Madrid had to push players forward. However, Argentina needs players in midfield that can play with Messi… Pastore and lamela are two that could fill that void as both a natural CAM, possibility of Lanzini or loCelso. I would love to see Argentina play a 4-1-4-1which would allow Messi freedom… diamaria, loCelso, Pastore and Messi… 3PSG players with Messi in midfield with biglia holding and aguero up front .

  7. I don’t get the whole Paulinho hype, yes he is a hard working player, but he has nothing to do with Messi success on the pitch against Real Madrid today…Messi won the Clasico at the Bernabeu last season scoring two goals after everyone had said, no way can Barcelona defeat Real Madrid at the Bernabeu without Neymar yet Messi proved them wrong. Messi and Barcelona would’ve still won this game even with Paulinho on the bench. Paulinho is just doing for Barcelona what he has been doing for Brazil during the 2018 CONMEBOL world cup qualifiers. Paulinho is not making things better for Messi, it’s Messi who is making things easier on the pitch for Paulinho. Unlike Argentina players, the guys at Barcelona exploit the advantage Messi gives them on the pitch against their opponents.

    Until Argentina players know when and where to pass the ball to Messi, the team will struggle to score goals. Take Barcelona first goal as an example; after Rakitic receive the ball from Busquet in midfield, he had Messi in front of him, but Messi was being man mark by Kovacic which open up a gap in midfield for Rakitic to run straight at Real Madrid 18 yard, then he (Rakitic) made the pass to Sergi Roberto, who then set up Suarez for the game opening goal. No Argentina player would be brave enough to ignored Messi and head straight for the Real Madrid goal area. In Argentina, the man mark Messi would have received the ball, then by the time he turns and face the opponent goal, all those space closes down. Messi creates a lot of space on the pitch, the Argentina players need to take advantage of this. You don’t always need to pass the ball to Messi if 1-2-3 players is on his shoulder.

    It all comes down to the space on the football pitch, if Messi creates the space, then why pass him the ball in traffic? Yes, there are times you can pass the ball to Messi in crowded areas, but sometimes his Argentina team mates need to pick the right moment and take advantage of the situation.

    Imagine if Iceland or a Portugal at the world cup deploy a similar strategy against Argentina like what Zidane did against Barcelona today in the first half? Does Sampoli has a plan B for this situation if it should occur? I don’t think so, in Argentina its always pass to Messi at all cost even if there are better options on the pitch. Iniesta, Alba, Rakitic, Busquet etc. don’t blindly pass the ball to Messi on every single play and ignore other good options. The Argentina players act as if Messi is going to get mad with them if he doesn’t receive the ball 99 times out of 100. Argentina players need to believe in themselves and in their abilities on the pitch, and then will the team reap the benefits in the long run. At the world cup, no way on earth is Messi going to have seven super games, it’s a given some games Messi will be ineffective, but this doesn’t mean he won’t have an impact on the team. The guys around Messi need to man up and play like how they know they can. It’s ridiculous to know as soon as these guys put on the Argentina shirt they forget how to play alongside Messi.

    Every team at the world cup focus will be on Messi, they don’t care about anyone else on the Argentina national team. It’s Messi, Messi, Messi, lets shut out Mess! If Sampaoli is not prepared for what’s coming, then he doesn’t deserve to be coach. Sampaoli need to put an end to the ‘’shut down Messi’’ and you stop the entire Argentina national team strategy that is being use by their opponents.

    • This’s so true kid. Paulinho did nothing sensational except for running into spaces and expecting messi to free himself from his multiple markers and releasing a pass to him. As a matter of fact he(paulinho) missed a glorious chance in the first half from a pass by messi.

      The fact remains that when messi’s on the pitch, he can make any team in the world look good.

      • That was a superb save from navas not paulinho missing navas was superb yesterday and messi was effective in 2nd half because Madrid players were exhausted after hard pressing in 1st half specially kovacic and modric also were tired I am sure Argentina will make a team which can score when messi is shut down aguero dybala icardi all can contribute but we need midfielders to score aswell

    • Argentina’s main problem is the forward line misses too much chances for Argentina and scores so rarely how good they are for their respective clubs but they always crack under pressure in front of goal for nt aguero dybala icardi higuain all not clinical messi has Suarez in support in Barcelona I think he needs aguero to perform aguero is superb player if fit

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