After a terrible first leg at the Camp Nou for Barcelona that saw them lose 4-1 to Paris Saint-Germain, the Catalans faced relegation-threatened Cadiz at home in the La Liga.
The evening did not end well for the Spanish giants as the minnows found an equaliser in the last minute to snatch a point and deny Barca from securing all 3. The Catalans currently sit in 3rd place in the La Liga behind Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid.
Barcelona had a great opportunity to close the gap on league leaders Atleti who lost 2-0 against Levante but they failed to capitalise on the opportunity by conceding a goal in the dying moments of their game in Catalonia.
It was a historic day for Lionel Messi, however, who surpassed legend Xavi by playing his 506th game for the Spanish side to become the new record-holder for most appearances for the club in the La Liga.
Messi gave his side the lead with a cool penalty kick that took his season tally to 16 in the league. However, that was not enough to secure the victory for Barcelona. The draw meant that Real Madrid went 5 points clear of their archrivals having played 1 more game.
Barcelona completely dominated the game in the first half, which led to the penalty in the 30th minute. The domination continued in the second half with Barca squandering multiple opportunities to increase their lead.
Clement Lenglet failed to mop up defensively and gave up a penalty right at the end of the game, which Alex Fernandez calmly disposed of to secure a hard-earned point to take them to 14th in the La Liga, 4 points clear of relegation.
Barcelona can end this game week in 4th place if Sevilla manage to beat Osasuna later in the day. The performances will be testing Lionel Messi’s patience with the side and there are strong rumours going around that the Argentine superstar is all set to leave for England in the summer.
Messi is expected to reunite with Josep “Pep” Guardiola in Manchester to play for Manchester City. He is expected to be paid around $500,000 a week and will most likely leave the team he has spent his entire professional career with, on a free transfer.
Manchester City already has a world-class squad and sit pretty at the top of the Premier League, 10 points ahead of 2nd and 3rd placed Manchester United and Leicester City, respectively. A Premier League title and potential Champions League run by City would leave no doubts in Messi’s mind about his move to the Northwest of England as he still has aspirations of winning more Champions League trophies.
Messi’s signing would mean that Riyad Mahrez could leave the side and it will be interesting to see where the Algerian captain goes if the trade does materialize. With less than half the season to go, we already cannot wait for the summer transfer window.