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Messi isn’t enough anymore for Barcelona vs Athletic

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Lionel Messi ended up frustrated after the 1-1 draw between FC Barcelona and Athletic Club, in which he started the match on the bench.

FC Barcelona just can’t wake up from this one-week long nightmare, with this Saturday’s match against Athletic Club Bilbao, they have now missed the chance to win in three consecutive matches. Manager Ernesto Valverde doesn’t seem like he knows what he is doing and even his decisions before the match were frankly unfortunate, as he decided to leave Lionel Messi on the bench during the first half of the match at Camp Nou.

This game was ideal for Messi to start from the very beginning, but it also served the Catalan club to realize just how dependent they are of the Argentine forward. Barcelona wasn’t able to produce good quality football during the first half of the match, they really struggled against an Athletic Club that is currently in great shape with players like De Marcos, Iñaki Williams, and Aduriz playing up front.

It was Oscar De Marcos the one who managed to get that first goal of the match after an assist from Susaeta with Lionel Messi watching from the bench, Valverde knew that he needed to get the Argentine in as soon as possible during the second half and he finally did it during the last 35 minutes. But the manager’s decision came a few minutes too late, as Messi didn’t have enough time to completely save Barcelona.

The Argentine did turn the match on its head right after he stepped on the field, he was the one who assisted Munir for the equalizer during the second half, but that goal came six minutes before the final whistle. Messi did attempt to score many times before that goal scored by Munir, but his teammates weren’t as responsive as they usually are and this was Barcelona’s ultimate downfall.

The last ten minutes were too stressful for everyone who attended the Camp Nou, they saw how Barcelona wasn’t able to create enough chances that could take them out of the hole they got themselves into. Many players got booked during those final minutes out of frustration, even Lionel Messi got a yellow card right after the final whistle for arguing with the referee. But the star of Barcelona knew that this result wasn’t the ref’s fault, the whole squad is aware that they are currently going through an alarming dip in form that has become generalized throughout the whole squad.

The Catalan club’s weakest point is on the defense, the players from midfield moving forward can’t feel safe and confident if their defenders are not having a good day. The face of frustration was reflected on Messi himself, who did what he could but wasn’t enough to prevent Barça from dropping another two points this season.

Knowing fully well that this result could end up costing them the top of the table if Real Madrid wins the Derby against Atletico, Lionel Messi wanted to send a message to all his teammates and he spoke to the press after the match to remind everyone that it’s still early in the season, but they can’t keep losing points in this fashion this often.

“We were coming from a season in which scoring a goal against us was very difficult, now we concede too easily. We are going to try to improve. We have to become defensively stronger. We can’t keep conceding goals in every single match. We have a good enough squad to be a great team, a strong side that doesn’t have to depend on anyone else.”

“This club has good enough players and they can’t depend on what a single player can do. These results are a real shame, but we have to remain calm and realize that the season ahead of us is still very long,” said Messi to the press after the match.

Now that this week is finally over, FC Barcelona now needs to focus on the next match in the Champions League against Tottenham Hotspur. The Catalan club will travel to London this Monday and start their preparations for the second European match of the season for them, this could be a good chance for Spurs to get a good result from Barcelona.

What do you think the problem is with Barcelona during the last three matches? Please share your opinion in the comment section down below.