Lionel Messi's highlights vs Liverpool in 2019 show his Barcelona teammates let him down

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Lionel Messi doesn’t have many happy Champions League memories from his final few seasons at Barcelona.

While the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner might have gotten his hands on ‘Big Ears’ four times in Catalonia, he nevertheless went on a barren run in Europe between 2015 and his 2021 departure.

However, not only were Barcelona unable to capture continental glory once again in the Messi era, but their Champions League campaigns consistently ended in catastrophic circumstances.

Barcelona’s European misfortune

From bottling a 4-1 lead at AS Roma and suffering an 8-2 defeat to Bayern Munich, the Blaugrana gained an uncanny knack for exploding in dramatic fashion when things got tough in Europe.

But of all the devastating exits that Barcelona suffered in Europe after their 2015 triumph, none of them could possibly compare to the 2018/19 semi-finals against Liverpool.

You know the story: Barca win the first leg 3-0 courtesy of a Messi masterclass only to suffer the most humiliating of turnarounds at Anfield with the Reds securing a remarkable 4-0 victory.

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Liverpool 4-0 Barcelona

Just one year after the aforementioned Roma meltdown, there’s good reason to think that lightning striking twice with the Liverpool collapse set the wheels in motion for Barcelona’s recent decline.

However, now that the dust has settled on one of the most remarkable Champions League games in history, we can start to gain a better perspective on the narratives that continue to swirl around it.

And while there’s good reason to think that many Barcelona players did indeed choke in front of the Kop, claims that Messi bottled his performance in the second leg are simply unfounded.

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Messi’s disrespected performance vs Liverpool

In fact, not for the first time over the intervening years, Messi’s individual highlights from the Anfield collapse have emerged to show that the result was by no means down to him underperforming.

Rather, it’s hard to believe that the footage depicts a player who was on the receiving end of a 4-0 thrashing because Messi can be seen constantly creating brilliant chances for an away goal.

In the end, it simply wasn’t enough, but it’s hard not to think that Messi was let down by his Barca teammates when you look at his scintillating highlights on that most famous of nights down below:

But Messi played poorly at Anfield, right? Sorry, we respectfully disagree.

Let down by teammates

It’s easy to forget just how many chances that Messi laid on a plate for his teammates with Jordi Alba and Luis Suarez both benefitting from their star man’s underrated creativity on the day.

There’s good reason to think that Messi could have been swaggering his way to the final with two assists to his name in a parallel universe where his Barca teammates had their shooting boots on.

Obviously, Messi himself had a few chances that he failed to tuck away, but it’s not unfair to say that his comrades owed him one on the back of producing an absolute masterclass in the first leg.

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Marry that to questionable defending and mental fortitude elsewhere in the team once Liverpool got a foothold in the game and the evidence adds up to suggest that Messi really did deserve more.

However, football doesn’t always work like that and there wasn’t to be a fifth Champions League title for Messi at Barcelona. Paris Saint-Germain will just have to hope for better fortunes…

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