Only 30 minutes, but that’s usually enough for Lionel Messi to make a complete difference from a stuttering, vulnerable Barcelona to a side that seems to score with ease, although it wasn’t enough for him to score his best goal of the season with a very impressive dribble through four Athletic Bilbao players, with the match ending in a 2-2 draw.
Messi scored his 44th goal, meaning he’s just under 50% of Barca’s 101 league goals this season, not to mention also adding the assist that gave Alexis Sanchez his goal, giving Barcelona a temporary 2-1 lead before Ander Herrera equalized in the last minute of the match.
But Barcelona, despite the chances they created without Messi, looked like a team that’s not likely to score. And Messi came on after 60 minutes, and needed only 7 to score his first, 9 to make it a goal and assist. He didn’t look injured, he hardly looked tired. With Barcelona trying to cling on to something that will give them some sort of hope and boost heading into the second leg with Bayern Munich, they couldn’t clinch another league title, but at least they realized Messi isn’t as banged up as they thought he was.