Lionel Messi: Footage of Barcelona star vs Atletico Madrid proves he's still carrying the team

Lionel Messi was Barcelona's only creative outlet vs Atletico Madrid

Barcelona are in the midst of yet another crisis.

The Blaugrana lost their third La Liga game of the season last night at the Wanda Metropolitano against rivals Atletico Madrid, leaving them 10th in the table.

Yannick Carrasco scored the only goal of the match in first-half injury time, the Belgian winger capitalising on a mistake from the usually brilliant Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

It was a lacklustre performance from Ronald Koeman's side overall, with Barca rarely threatening Jan Oblak's goal.

On the rare occasions that they did so, the man behind the move was more often than not - you guessed it - Lionel Messi.

Messi in action

Now, the Argentine was a long, long way from his very best against Atletico last night, but those labelling his performance as a 'disasterclass' are going way over the top.

Whenever Barca threatened going forward, it was through Messi and the Argentine was also robbed of a brilliant assist by Clement Lenglet, the Frenchman heading straight at Oblak when it looked easier to score.

You can watch Messi's highlights from the game below and they're proof that he's still carrying this Barca side.

Messi's highlights vs Atletico Madrid

Had that performance come from any other top player, we'd probably be lauding it as a 'creative masterclass'.

But this is Messi and he is judged to a much higher standard than any other player on the planet - except for Cristiano Ronaldo, of course.

However, the one thing that cannot be excused is the Argentine's lack of leadership, both on and off the pitch.

As we reported HERE, the Barcelona 'captain' sent 17-year-old midfielder Pedri out to face the media after the game instead of taking on the responsibility himself.

Messi looks on

Given that Messi will all but certainly leave the club in the summer when his contract runs out, it might be wise for Barca to strip him of the captain's armband for the remainder of the season.

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