Saturday, November 2nd, 2013
Before the opprobrium comes pouring in, the title is tongue-in-cheek, a joke playing on the fact that Leo Messi is so rarely below brilliant.
But the truth is he had a distinctly average, indecisive performance against Espanyol in the Catalan derby last night.
Messi cut a frustrated figure as his mind at times seemed to be elsewhere, as he drifted deep and out to the right, a lot further from goal that normal.
Of course, this may be a tactical instruction from coach Tata; whatever the case he didn’t look like the happiest camper.
He did link up well with the overlapping Dani Alves on the right, and had some nice combinations with Neymar, notably when he’d played him through on goal only for Sanchez to unwittingly intercept; but there’s a spark clearly missing in Messi’s game right now.
Failing to score for the fourth successive game, it’s Messi’s longest goal ‘drought’ (it’s relative of course) since the 2010-11 season.
And it was clear that the situ is weighing on his mind from his reaction at the final whistle, looking for all the world as if Barcelona had just lost the game rather than won (second clip below).
Watch Messi’s pretty average performance against Espanyol on the first clip below.