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Lionel Messi's highlights v Atletico Madrid - Marca called it his worst game of the season

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Barcelona were heading for their second straight defeat in La Liga - until Ousmane Dembele stepped up.

The Frenchman, who has struggled behind the scenes since his move to Barcelona in 2017, scored a 90th-minute equaliser as Ernesto Valverde’s side secured a 1-1 draw against Atletico Madrid.

Los Rojiblancos had taken the lead through Diego Costa and were minutes away from leapfrogging Barca at the top of the table.

But Barcelona ended the match with Dembele, Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Malcom all on the pitch. They were desperate for an equaliser, and they got it.

Barca fans can only hope that Dembele kicks on from here.

“Dembele has things that others don't - self-confidence, shooting with both feet, personality and talent,” Valverde said after the match.

“He's always on the lips of a lot of people, and he gives us a lot of things."

FBL-ESP-LIGA-ATLETICO-BARCELONA

Messi's 'worst game of the season'

The 21-year-old fired home after being teed up by Messi, who now has seven assists this season to go with his 14 goals.

Yet the Argentinian didn’t have it all his own way. He had had a pretty frustrating evening until the goal, losing possession on more than one occasion and failing to unlock Atleti’s stingy defence.

Spanish publication Marca even considered it his worst performance of the season.

“The worst game of the Argentinian this season and, despite trying to take responsibility, he wasn’t able to,” they wrote.

Do Messi's highlights support this?

Messi’s individual highlights show they may have a point.

By Messi's incredible standards, he wasn't quite on it.

Yet he was there when Barcelona needed him the most, supplying the ball to Dembele that led to the equaliser.

That’s what the great ones do. Even on an off day, they can impact a game.

FBL-ESP-LIGA-ATLETICO-BARCELONA

And Messi never gave up. Things didn’t go his way at times but he kept going and was eventually rewarded with a crucial assist.

The result means that Barcelona stay top of the table, one point ahead of Atleti.

Real Madrid, meanwhile, are five points behind following a 3-0 defeat to Eibar.

Topics:
Football
Malcom Silva de Oliveira
Ernesto Valverde
Ousmane Dembele
Diego Costa
La Liga
Atletico Madrid
Barcelona
Lionel Messi
Luis Suarez

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