Leo was not fine against Alavés, he closed his fifth consecutive league game without converting and on top of that he starred in an episode with the referee that could well have earned him an expulsion. Loose.
It is striking to see Lionel Messi like this. Off. Imprecise. Like he’s not happy to be where he is. With how much Barcelona needs it. Maybe it’s because of what happened at the end of last season. Or maybe it’s just a football question. The truth is that this Messi is far from being the Messi we all know. Even from his temperament, usually calm and now more explosive.
Against Alavés he didn’t play a good game. It is true that in the second half he raised and that from the change of position of Antoine Griezmann – he went on to play at 9 – he was much more participative in regards to the game, but even so his performance left little flavor.
It didn’t help that Ximo Navarro first and the archer Pacheco then they will drown the celebration, the one that has been denied by LaLiga for a long time. This Saturday, in fact, was the fifth consecutive game of the local tournament that closed without converting, which for Messi is an eternity.
Surely that frustration has led him to commit the act of rebellion, with a ball that brushed the referee, which may well have cost him expulsion. What’s more: it gave the feeling that the referee changed his position – and his pocket – when he realized that it was Messi. He pretended to look for the red one and ended up showing him the yellow one.
He did enter the shot that, with anger, he took with five minutes to go from inside the area, after an assist from a spoon that found him out of play. It was the goal that broke the bad streak of the Barcelona captain in LaLiga, but it was annulled for offside.
Without the splendor of Leo, Koeman’s team barely managed to reach the equalizer, unable to take advantage of even the extra man he had in the last half hour of play due to the expulsion of Furrier. And it was 1-1, just.