Barcelona secured a massive victory in the La Liga title race on Monday night.
Going into the dying embers of the game against Real Valladolid, there were countless fans across social media who consigned themselves to the fact that Barca had missed a huge opportunity.
Besides, Oscar Piano's red card seemed too little, too late and a series of major chances came to pass for the Blaugrana as they limped towards stoppage time with the scores still goalless.
Barcelona 1-0 Real Valladolid
However, with the clock ticking away in Catalonia, Barcelona produced the sort of response you'd expect from champions by bagging themselves a dramatic winner courtesy of Ousmane Dembele.
With Ronald Koeman's men turning the screw in the penalty area, the ball eventually fell to the Frenchman who unleashed a stinging volley that flummoxed Jordi Masip at his near post.
And by the time the Valladolid shot-stopper realised that Dembele had beaten him, the Barca players were already wildly celebrating in the knowledge that they had secured a critical victory.
In fact, Barcelona's win ensured that they moved into second place in La Liga, lurking just one point behind leaders Atletico Madrid and two points above Real Madrid ahead of 'El Clasico'.
Messi's rallying HT speech
However, such a pivotal moment in Barcelona's season might not have been possible without some brilliant advice from Lionel Messi during the half-time interval.
Spanish television broadcasts showed Messi imparting his advice to members of the Barcelona squad and you'd be forgiven for thinking that he could predict the future based on his comments.
"Without going crazy, but we have to put more pace. If we don’t, it will get complicated. We have to win this however we can. Only one goal, only one goal.”
Messi got it spot on
In other words, Messi jolly-well knew that just a single goal would likely be sufficient and that they should pursue it without prejudice, potentially keeping things simple if necessary.
And considering that Barca did indeed win by one goal and it came under direct circumstances by their standards, as well as coming deep into regulation times, it'd be fair to say that Messi was spot on.
Don't get me wrong, it's not as though Messi was sat there with a crystal ball as some fanatics might have you believe, but there's no getting away from the fact that his advice proved to be apt.
So, the next time that you hear somebody calling Messi a poor leader, be sure to refer them to this key example because it could make a lasting impression on the La Liga title race.News Now - Sport News