We take a more in-depth look to the performance that Lionel Messi gifted all of us yesterday against Tottenham Hotspur, his best of the season.
I’m sorry to disappoint but, we really need to analyze Lionel Messi’s numbers and match from last Wednesday against Tottenham Hotspur in the Champions League.
The FC Barcelona star had started the season in great form both in La Liga and the Champions League, but he faltered a little bit in the domestic competition during the last three matches.
The loss against Leganes and the draw against Athletic Club got him really pissed off and he vowed to pick the squad up all by himself, which he finally did for this second Champions League match at Wembley Stadium.
We all know how well Messi does in this mythical place in the heart of London, we also know the history that FC Barcelona has when they play here as well.
We can’t forget that the first ever Europen Cup that the Catalan club won, was at Wembley against Sampdoria back in 1992 with that unforgettable Ronald Koeman free-kick.
But Messi is the player who has become the most instrumental player for Barcelona not only at Wembley, but also against Premier League sides throughout his career in the continental competition.
The Argentine hit the post twice and scored two goals, that was more than enough to get a massive reaction from the international press.
But Messi’s influence went beyond just scoring two goals, this version of the Argentine hasn’t been seen during the last three years since the Catalan club won their second treble in history.
With Real Madrid dominating the European landscape, there was something off with Messi that people couldn’t explain.
I’ve been repeatedly saying that Leo started faltering since Xavi left the club, there was an urgent need for a midfielder who could help Messi liberate himself a little bit more and take the wheel of the team’s offense completely.
The arrivals of both Philippe Coutinho and Arthur Melo are the biggest reason why Messi looks to be back in his best form, they are very different from Xavi and Iniesta but both of them occupy the same position that the two Spaniards had during the Barcelona golden age.
The former Liverpool player does his job as a left winger and has a very similar motivation to move back and help his teammates on defense, but his biggest characteristics come when he is closer to the strikers and has more chances to combine with them.
The first goal that Barcelona scored at Wembley is the perfect example of Coutinho at his best, in a build-up that Messi himself started from scratch.
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) October 4, 2018
Then we have Arthur, who is the Catalan club’s most exciting novelty and came to finally accompany Sergio Busquets in midfield for a faster flow of the ball around the field through short passes.
We do have to point out that Messi without other amazing players like Xavi or Iniesta, is just not the same type of player and it’s pretty easy to understand why this is.
Now that he felt back on his element last Wednesday again, the player’s stats against English teams got greater and they improved to a point where there has never been a more decisive player against the top 6 Premier League sides who played in a club from another country.
Messi has now scored 22 goals to the top clubs from England in the Champions League, that’s eight more than Cristiano Ronaldo has ever scored and the Portuguese player spent six years playing in England for Manchester United.
Another interesting bit that we should point out of how much Messi ran throughout the match against Tottenham, which was over 8 kilometers, a distance that he very rarely covers but the motivation of winning his fifth Champions League is just too great to ignore.
So far he has scored five goals on his first two matches in the tournament, let’s hope he stays in this form and he delivers a record-breaking performance.
Messi against English opposition (22 goals)
6 appearanes, 9 goals, 1 assist
6 apps, 6 goals, 2 assists
10 apps, 3 goals, 3 assists
4 apps, 2 goals, no assists
2 apps, no goals, no assists
1 app, 2 goals, no assists pic.twitter.com/dCLVpyYni4
— MESSISTATS (@MessiStats_) October 4, 2018
How would you describe Lionel Messi’s performance against Tottenham last Wednesday at Wembley Stadium? Please share your opinion in the comment section down below.