Barcelona captain Lionel Messi added another couple of incredible records to his vast collection on Sunday with a goal against Celta Vigo in La Liga at the Camp Nou.
The Argentina international opened the scoring after 28 minutes with a header from a Sergio Busquets cross to net his 30th La Liga goal of the 2020-21 campaign. It’s the ninth time Messi has reached the landmark in his career.
The goal also means that Messi has now scored in 300 different league outings for Barcelona which is more than any other player by quite some distance, as highlighted by Opta.
Sunday’s match is Barcelona’s last home game of the 2020-21 season. The Catalan giants complete their campaign in a week’s time at Eibar.
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Another Assist from Busquets
The assist from Busquets was the midfielder’s fifth of the season in La Liga but his 38th in a Barcelona shirt. Interestingly, exactly half of Busquets’s assists have all gone to Messi, as noted by Opta.
The 32-year-old has once again been an infuential figure in the Barcelona midfield and has had a particularly strong second half of the campaign. All four of Busquets’s assists have come since February.
The Spain international was expected to face fierce competition for his place in the team after the arrival of Miralem Pjanic from Juventus in the summer but has been a regular under Ronald Koeman and a key player once again.
Meanwhile, Pjanic has spent the majority of the season on the bench and has only started six times in La Liga in a Barcelona shirt. The midfielder is reportedly one of a host of players who could depart the Camp Nou in the summer.
Barcelona Defense Under The Spotlight
Messi’s goal put Barcelona in front but the lead lasted just 10 minutes as Santi Mina fired Celta back onto level terms before half-time. The Celta forward struck a low shot that seemed to completely wrong-foot goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
It was another sloppy moment from the Barcelona defense which has managed just one clean sheet in the team’s last seven outings and conceded three times in the second half against Levante last time out.
Sergio Busquets admitted after the draw his team give away too many easy goals, as reported by ESPN.
“That’s the league practically over for us. Teams score against us easily,” he said. “It’s our fault, we take responsibility. There was a lack of concentration, lack of precision, in so many games, not just tonight.”
There were more defensive troubles for Barca late on when center-back Clement Lenglet saw a red card in the 83rd minute. The France international has endured a tough season and will now be suspended for Barca’s final game.
Celta took advantage of the man advantage to hit a late winner with Mina’s second of the match in the closing minutes. The result means Barca is now out of the title race and will pile more pressure on coach Ronald Koeman.