Atletico Madrid had their first La Liga win in over 10 years against Barcelona on Saturday night, but, despite coming in for criticism, the highlights show Lionel Messi is still extremely important for how Barca play.
Barcelona is not very good, and the loss let Ronald Koeman’s side nine points off the table toppers Real Sociedad after eight games this season, won only three times.
His personal highlights show how hard he tried to make something for his teammates and how much of their game was done by the six time Ballon d’Or winner.
Messi may not have had a clear cut chances to score, but he set Barcelona’s best chance for the game.
At 1-0 down, the 33-year-old swung a cross for Clement Langlet in the box. The center back has lost its marker for a free header, but could only show it straight to Jan Oblak
The Argentine has four goals in the league to his name, in eight games, and another three in the Champions League, but Ansu Fati actually leads the goalscoring charts with four in La Liga.
There is no doubt that the club captain is currently not at his best and this is not the team as a whole, as they continue to struggle in the league.
His decision to leave in the summer, followed by the admission that he had to stay until the end of the season, may not have saved his life at the Nou Camp.
Manchester City are still expected to sign the forward next summer when his contract runs, although Pep Guardiola has denied the claim.
Until Messi could find his best form or Koeman could learn how to get the best of the rest of the team without their maestro, it could not get better for the team.