Yesterday marked the one-year anniversary of Liverpool’s legendary comeback against Barcelona.
Having initially lost the first leg 3-0 at Camp Nou, the Reds instigated the biggest turnaround in Champions League semi-final history thanks to braces from Georginio Winaldum and Divock Origi.
But amidst the joyous celebrations at Anfield as the final whistle confirmed their comeback, there was the other side of the coin and the Barca players who inexplicably disintegrated on Merseyside.
What made their surrendering of a 3-0 all the more embarrassing was the fact they’d similarly bottled a 4-1 first-leg advantage against AS Roma in the quarter-finals of the season prior.
It made the Blaugrana something of a Champions League laughing stock, especially as Lionel Messi had declared to the fans in the summer of 2018 that European glory was their main aim.
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Lionel Messi vs Liverpool
But the Barcelona skipper was perhaps the only player that could hold his head high, scoring twice in the first leg of the Liverpool tie, the second of which being a free-kick for the ages.
As for the return leg, the social media narrative seems to be that Messi faded into obscurity or dropped some sort of disasterclass, but the footage from that famous night tells a different story.
Although Messi by no means lit up the Anfield pitch, though we are judging him by his own astronomic standards, he was arguably Barca’s most effective attacking player.
Messi’s highlights at Anfield
Twitter user ‘@ERNESTHDGAMERX’ used yesterday’s anniversary as an opportunity to re-share Messi’s highlights from the 4-0 defeat in order to make that very point.
The caption of the montage aptly reads: “On this day last year, Messi put up one of his best performances at Anfield. Let down by his teammates.”
It might seem a little dramatic, especially when the user’s profile picture is Messi himself, but the amount of clips where the Argentine’s teammates let him down is pretty damning.
But don’t just take our word for it, you can check out Messi’s full highlights below and make up your own mind about the legend’s display on a legendary night:
It’s easy to read ‘4-0 to Liverpool’ and assume that Barca were completely whitewashed, but that’s not the case.
Many supporters have already forgotten just how many opportunities the Catalans created and as the video shows, the vast majority of them were carved out by Messi himself.
There are so many examples of him floating down the Anfield pitch, picking out a deadly pass to one of his strike partners and watching as the ball finds anywhere other than the net.
Was Messi let down?
And most of the chances that Messi took on himself were either from difficult areas having been let down by his teammates or saved by Alisson Becker in his thoroughly underrated performance.
It’s a situation that really underlines that Barcelona are jokingly branded as ‘Messi FC’ these days and why their hierarchy are desperately scrambling for a plan when he retires.
Besides, if you remember Ousmane Dembele’s missed chance from the first leg, you’ll know that Messi being let down isn’t anything new Barca need to avoid it most.