The Spanish La Liga, like other major leagues around Europe (all of them, maybe?) seem like one big garbage time in the second half of the season. So Barcelona are taking it easy knowing there are tougher challenges than “meaningless” league matches, but Lionel Messi simply keeps on scoring, setting records and making new standards for perfection and excellence.
So what did the boy wonder do this time? Well, just one goal in a 2-2 draw with Celta Vigo, who needed the points badly in their fight against relegation, but a goal that made it 19 consecutive league matches in which Messi has scored, meaning it’s been one, at least, against every team in the league. It means 43 league goals this season, in the league alone, and a very good chance of breaking his Pichichi record from last season, currently standing at 50 goals.
Besides that, it was one of those matches in which passing the time, hoping no one gets injured while showing a little bit of that familiar brilliance and passing is the important thing. Cristian Tello got a chance to start and score, making you wonder about his role with the team after such a bad season from Pedro and Alexis. Both Andres Iniesta (came off the bench) and Xavi (semi-injured) didn’t start, while David Villa, as Barca showed their plans for him as the Champions League clash waits on the very near horizon, came off the bench as well.
These matches are about rest, and maybe giving someone a chance to show he’s worth of a lineup spot, now and in the future. Marc Batra, Martin Montoya (who has proved it already in my opinion), Thiago and Alex Song got the chance. Nothing extraordinary happened from those feet, as Thiago continues to be a source of disappointment when he plays outside the Spanish U-21 side, while Alex Song keeps feeling like a guy Barcelona wanted just to piss off Arsene Wenger a little bit more.
So is it all up to Messi when it comes to the PSG match? Nope, of course not, but it’s good to know his bad patch is behind him. Goals won’t come easy against a strong PSG defense, but the kind of form they showed against Milan, and even less than that, will be enough for Barcelona to secure another Champions League semifinal spot for a sixth consecutive season.