For the second match in succession, Pep Guardiola looked to give his star player Lionel Messi a rest on the bench, only bringing on the wonderful Argentine in the second half of Barca’s Copa del Rey tie with Mallorca.
With Barca leading 1-nil and with the game meandering along, Messi was sent on to raise their atmosphere and spirits of the hosts. And he did not fail, once again the architect and creator of several near-misses.
Within a minute of his introduction, Messi almost managed a picture-book goal. LM10 combined with wonderfully with Iniesta before the Argentine fired a powerful shot that the Mallorca keeper Lux just beat around the post. And minutes after that Messi was once striking the target, this time forcing Lux to repel his low drive with his legs.
Highlights of Messi’s individual performance against Mallorca can be seen here.