Lionel Messi’s violent punch to the back of Asier Villalibre’s head was an indication of where he is at mentally at the moment.
For all the wins over Granada and other lesser lights, any time this incarnation of Barcelona is pitted against a half-decent opponent and the pressure is on, they capitulate.
It happened again here. Antoine Griezmann’s double had them in an excellent position, heading towards injury time, only for inept set-piece defending to allow Villalibre to level. When Inaki Williams curled in a wondrous goal in extra time, you felt Barca had no answer. And so it proved.
And Messi, who has begun to find form again of late after a low-key start to the season, was back to his most frustrated and most subdued. He sprayed passes left and right but never looked like getting involved in scoring, and perhaps the injury that kept him out of the semi-final against Real Sociedad meant he shouldn’t have played at all.
But despite being kicked up and down the field for nearly fifteen years, he’s never reacted like this before, and he can have no complaints over the decision. He clobbered Villalibre; yes, the striker was clumsy and clambered on top of him, but the action was indefensible. Continue reading
Latest posts by Haitian Times (see all)
- Is Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool repeating his last Borussia Dortmund season? - Feb. 26, 2021
- Arsenal should finally sell Hector Bellerin this summer - Feb. 26, 2021
- Derby County: What is happening with Sheikh Khaled’s £60m takeover? - Feb. 26, 2021