The Barcelona captain did not show his best level and accumulated six classics without being able to score against Real Madrid.
The game ends and the camera focuses on Sergio Ramos. There are no doubts: once again the Real Madrid captain settled at the top of the marquee of the Spanish classic. Immediately the shot goes to Lionel Messi, the other captain, that of an aimless Barcelona, who adjusts his hair as he walks towards the changing room and with a lost look. An opaque match was rounded off by the Argentine crack and his streak against Merengue extends to six games without being able to convert or give assists.
It was from highest to lowest Leo, like the whole team. Once again he had a renewed society in attack and a hitherto unprecedented particularity in the assembly: Ronald Koeman decided that Ansu Fati would be the most advanced man in the team and the Argentine floated behind the young man born in Guinea, nationalized Spanish.
The idea of the Dutch coach seemed to bear fruit in the first half with very good offensive actions by both teams and in which Barcelona’s full-backs came to the bottom and were vital pieces to enter Madrid.
It was Messi, as so many other times, with that hole-in pass for Jordi Alba’s projection on the left, who found the key to the tie. First-rate center from the side to the middle for the scoring entry of Ansu Fati who continues to add precocious records and is the youngest player to score for Barcelona in a classic with 17 years and 259 days.
The section after 1-1 was the one with the most sustained performance for the culé team. And there Messi had his best action. He received a cross pass from Coutinho and went hand in hand with Sergio Ramos inside the area. He fooled him perfectly, he hooked him to the right when the defender assumed that he would settle for his skillful leg, but that dribble forced the Argentine to define with a closed angle and the right hand was in the hands of the always punctual Courtois.
Messi was neither a pointer nor a false nine. He moved in three-quarters of the court, leaning on the right but giving the band for Pedri to take advantage of it (he did not) and Sergino Dest could reach the bottom.
In the first half he managed to win the duel against Casemiro and collided several times with the iron mark of the Brazilian midfielder. Furthermore, the referee Juan Martínez Munuera could have charged a penalty in an action in which the São Paulo player locks the ball against Messi and in the movement he also drags the Argentine’s leg into the area. From the VAR booth they did not even consider that he should review the play.
In addition, with Busquets very delayed and at a too low pace and with De Jong neutralized, the Real Madrid midfield took the reins and Messi participated little and nothing. Without rebellion or partners, the captain finished off and could not even generate danger in a frontal free kick that hit the barrier.
Thus the account reaches 902 days since his last goal against Real Madrid. There are already six classics in which the Rosario does not score and does not pass on goal either. The last proper celebration was on May 6, 2018. And in the 44 matches against Merengue, he has 26 goals -18 for the League, 2 for the Champions League and 6 for the Spanish Super Cup- and 14 assists. It continues to be the one that scored the most in derby history, eight ahead of Alfredo Di Stéfano and Cristiano Ronaldo.
The last goal was converted to Real Madrid on May 6, 2018. Since then, two years, five months and 19 days have passed that afternoon. It was in the classic of the 2017/2018 season at the Camp Nou, for the 36th day of LaLiga. That goal marked the 2-1 victory, although the match ended 2-2.
Chance or not the break occurred when Cristiano Ronaldo left Madrid and went to Turin. Now it is Messi who threatened to leave. It could have been his last classic at the Camp Nou. An empty stadium that saw him leave crestfallen while Sergio Ramos and company celebrated.