Barcelona captain Lionel Messi could not hide his frustration on Tuesday night as he watched his team’s hopes of winning La Liga slip away in a costly 3-3 draw at Levante.
Goals from Pedri and Messi had put Barca into a commanding led but Levante hit back to tie the game at 2-2. Ousmane Dembele restored Barcelona’s lead in the second half before Sergio Leon grabbed a point for Levante in the 83rd minute.
Footage has now emerged that shows how Messi rected when Leon struck the ball past goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen at the Estadi Ciutat de València.
📽| Lionel Messi’s reaction after Levante equalised with their 3rd goal on Tuesday night. 😐
— Barça Buzz (@Barca_Buzz) May 13, 2021
There’s no doubt it was a costly result for the Catalans that leaves the team’s title hopes hanging by a thread. Barca trail leaders Atletico Madrid by four points with just two games of the 2020-21 La Liga campaign left to play.
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Barca ‘Never Recovered’ From Granada Defeat
Of course the title was in Barca’s hands just a few weeks ago. The Catalan giants had the chance to top the table against Granada on April 29 but slipped to a shock 2-1 home defeat.
Messi had put the hosts in the lead against Granada but late goals from Darwin Machis and Jorge Molina condemned Ronald Koeman’s side to a surprise and very damaging defeat.
According to Lluis Mascaro at Diario Sport, the defeat had a “devastating effect” on the team’s morale that the players simply never recovered from. The message from the dressing room after the match was, “We’ve thrown away months of hard work.”
Barca had trailed Atletico by 10 points back in January but managed to go on a 19-match unbeaten run that cut the gap to just two points. However, Koeman’s men subsequently faltered in key games to hand the initiative back to the Rojiblancos.
Messi Close To Another Pichichi
Messi’s frustration is understandable seeing as the captain has done so much to resurrect Barca’s title hopes. The 33-year-old has scored 21 goals in 19 La Liga games since the turn of the year to get Barca back on track.
The goals may not be enough to deliver another league title but will surely hand Messi a record-extending eighth Pichichi trophy. Messi now tops the scoring charts in Spain’s top flight on 29 and is eight clear of nearest challengers Karim Benzema and Gerard Moreno.
Messi made more La Liga history in 2020 when he won the Pichichi for the seventh time in his career and the fourth season in a row. The Argentine moved past Telmo Zarra as the player with the most Pichichi awards to his name.
More history awaits Messi if he does, as expected, finish top of the pile again. Yet it’s likely to provide little consolation to the Barcelona captain who has long made it clear that he’s not motivated by individual awards.
He told Marca after winning last season’s Pichichi that “It might well be an important mark to win seven trophies, but I’d have liked it to have come along with the LaLiga title.”
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