While Real Madrid dominated the first half, Lionel Messi came alive in the second half to secure the win for his side Barcelona.
It’s very fair to say that Lionel Messi enjoyed the entire Clasico on Saturday, after distracting Kovacic for the first goal, scoring the second and setting up the third one for Vidal. Kovacic and Casemiro in the first half of the game while the Barcelona talisman kept looking for a weakness in Madrid’s defensive structure. And the wizard was successful in exploiting Madrid’s defense.
The 29-year-old was often observed watching the game at a walking pace and following the action silently. The Argentine always tries to read his opponent’s game plan, before capitalizing on their weaknesses. The first goal was clearly an example of this, he followed the action silently and distracted Kovacic away from the action.
Lionel Messi is often accused of being lazy and not running without the ball on his feet. Barcelona legend Johan Cruyff talked about conserving energy for the most important attacking games. And Messi seems to be using the same tactic. Messi conserves the energy and chooses some important moments to use that reserved energy.
One of the clear examples of this statement was seen on Saturday during the Clasico. During the ending minutes of the Clasico, Lionel Messi floats past through Marcelo to put the ball in the path of his teammate Aleix Vidal. That was an instant when Messi used his reserve energy to get past through the Brazilian.
Infographic: Messi wakled for 83% of the Clasico and ran only 4.95% and yet he ended up creating 9 chances, scoring a goal and providing an assist — implying Messi didn’t have to work very hard to lead Barça to victory #fcblive [el periodico] pic.twitter.com/XKWTD58yWp
— Barcastuff (@barcastuff__) December 25, 2017
Now after the Clasico on Saturday, some whopping facts are coming out which suggests that Lionel Messi spent most of the Clasico at a walking pace. According to El Periodico, who analyzed his performance at the Bernabeu found that he walked for 83.1%, ran for 4.85%, sprinted for 1.15% and jogged for the remaining 10.8%.
Just another amazing stat for the Argentine wizard, which shows that it’s not always about how fast you run in the game, instead of that it’s always about how aware are you of the surrounding and how you use your reserve energy. Lionel Messi has clearly evolved well beyond any of his opponents and with age, has just become better and better.