That Lionel Messi didn’t play made Barcelona’s emphatic 5-1 victory over Real Madrid all the more impressive.
Barça’s captain was ruled out for a month last week after injuring his arm against Sevilla and was subsequently forced to watch the Clasico from the stands instead.
Who knows what the full-time score would have been had Messi been available. Julen Lopetegui might well have been sacked by Florentino Perez before the final whistle.
The Catalan giants moved seven points clear of Madrid, who now find themselves down in ninth position and in full-blown crisis mode.
Antonio Conte is expected to be announced as Lopetegui’s replacement over the coming days.
Despite the fact Messi didn’t play, Spanish TV cameras cut to the Argentine forward at every available opportunity.
The 31-year-old was sat in the stands with his eldest son, Thiago, who is clearly enjoying the rare treat of being able to watch a few live matches with his superstar dad.
Now, individual highlight packages of big-name players are obviously common after matches.
But you don’t have too many YouTube videos made of a player’s reactions from the stands.
One YouTuber decided to post a video of Messi’s reactions throughout the match - he had more than enough footage to choose from thanks to the Spanish broadcasters - presumably because he felt Barça fans would want to see their skipper looking delighted after each goal.
And it turns out he was right. The video has already racked up thousands of views.
You can watch it here…
Messi clearly enjoyed himself, judging by his reactions to the five goals - although not as much as he would have done playing against this woeful Madrid side.
Part of him must be gutted he missed out.
Messi - or Eminem?
Messi’s attire was also a talking point on social media during the Clasico.
Wearing a big coat, a hoodie and a cap, it was obvious that Messi was dressed in a way that meant he wouldn’t be spotted by too many people around him.
However, many people felt he was going for the Eminem look - and this led to some hilarious reaction on Twitter.News Now - Sport News