Leo Messi has now gone two games without scoring, against Sporting and Arsenal, a run that might not be news with any other player, but which the stats show is pretty unusual for the Argentinean and shouldn’t last much longer.
Four against the Gunners last year
Last year’s game at the Nou Camp against Arsenal came in the quarter finals and Messi
thrilled the crowd with a first half hat trick and a fourth after the break to send the team
through to the semis. That night, Messi equalled the record of four goals in a game held by such
greats as Marco van Basten, Simone Inzhagi, Andrei Shevchenko or Ruud van Nistelrooy.
This is the first time this season that Messi has gone two games in which he’s played the
full 90 minutes without a goal. Messi missed out in El Molinon and at the Emirates, but the figures
seem to ensure that he’ll soon be back on the scoresheet –watch out Bilbao!
Messi has been a nightmare for nearly every defence Barça have faced
this year with his goal scoring reaching new heights. True, he failed to score against Sporting and
Bilbao in the first half of the season, and indeed against Rubin in the next game, but that was
because the rough treatment handed out to him by Ujfalusi at the Vicente Calderón meant he missed
the two domestic games completely and only came on as a second half sub against Rubin.
No goals in two big wins
the end of 2010, Messi also failed to score against Real Sociedad(5-1) and Espanyol(1-4) and was on
the bench for the next game against Bilbao in the Cup, whilst he missed the first La Liga game of
2011 against Llevant. Although he then missed out in the return Cup game at San Mames, he did set
up Abidal for the team’s only goal. However, Messi did not play the full 90 minutes in any of
Champions League last 16 goals
With Guardiola as manager, Messi has always scored in the last 16 of the Champions
League in games played at the Nou Camp. In the 2008/09 season, against Lyon, he made it 3-0 in what
turned out to be a 5-2 win. Last season against Stuttgart he scored twice, after failing to score
in the first leg as he did on Wednesday.