Lionel Messi scored what proved to be a winner as Barcelona hammered Espanyol 2-0 to reach the semifinals of Copa del Rey on Thursday in a game that saw Philippe Coutinho make his long-awaited Barcelona debut.
Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez worked in tandem as Barcelona overturned a 1-0 deficit in the quarter-finals of the Copa del Rey. Luis Suarez scored an early opener in the second leg before Messi’s wonderful solo effort gave Barcelona a 2-1 aggregate advantage as the hosts went through to the semifinals of the cup competition.
Lionel Messi missed a penalty in the first leg as Barcelona were defeated for the first time since August, but they did more than enough on Thursday to play Sevilla in the upcoming semi-finals. Messi was at the centre of a lot of things, mostly good. The Argentine has been phenomenal this season, scoring 25 goals in all competitions and there is some genuine evidence to prove that point.
Leo has been prolific in every department this season, including defending. And he showed it during the match against Espanyol. The Argentine wizard is not much known for his defending and tracking back but in yesterday’s match, he showed a very different side to his game. For both the goals Barcelona scored, he was the one who battled with Espanyol’s players to win back possession.
Messi won back possession for both of Barcelona's goals against Espanyol in the first half. He won the ball back to start the moves that led to the two goals Barça scored yesterday #fcblive pic.twitter.com/mQJG1k8rtS
— Barcastuff (@barcastuff__) January 26, 2018
Messi’s Unreal Dribble:
In the 77th minute of the game, Messi brought the entire Camp Nou crowd to his feet with a kind of dribble that only he could have produced. Messi received the ball on the left flank and with the ball sticking to his feet like a glue, he proceeded to run towards Espanyol’s defence. At the end of the dribble, Messi’s shirt was pulled and he eventually received a free kick.
His full individual highlights are surely one to watch but his magical dribble can be seen at 7:55. You can also hear the reaction of the astonished fans in the Camp Nou.
Messi has been phenomenal this season and is currently La Liga’s top scorer with 19 goals.