Things have looked quite bleak for Barcelona over the last few months, but at least they have Lionel Messi. In a difficult visit to Alaves, it was the Argentine star that pulled the team through to remain unbeaten through the first 180 minutes of La Liga football, although Los Cules remain unimpressive.
There was nothing too brilliant about Messi’s brace. The first, in the 55th minute, bounced off a defender in an angle that made it impossible for goalkeeper Fernando Pacheco.
The second goal, coming 11 minutes later as Paco Alcacer finally did something for the club after a horrible debut with an assist, had more to do with embarrassing defending by the home side than anything brilliant from Messi. At the right place, at the right time.
Messi missed a penalty kick, not a surprising occurrence, in the 39th minute. Barcelona played in a lineup that didn’t have any forwards besides him, and until Luis Suarez returns; until Ousmane Dembele makes his debut, it’ll remain a one-man show. There can be worst things than relying completely on Messi to bail you out.