Barcelona Decisive in the final stages
After weeks of waiting, he has finally returned, Barcelona captain Lionel Messi, was back in action on Wednesday evening as he was a decisive presence in Los Cules’ late comeback against Inter.
Fitness issues have plagued the Argentine and have left him unavailable for much of the campaign, yet he was back alongside Luis Suarez at the Camp Nou and the duo linked splendidly.
The Barcelona forward is not yet fully fit, that’s clear, but he was healthy enough to play to a high standard in the second half on Wednesday.
He played a quite sumptuous pass to the Uruguayan to set up a goal, whilst Suarez would then finish the job by netting his second, bringing to an end his Champions League struggles.
Barcelona supporters have been itching to see Messi back, they know how important he is to the side, and the reality is that without the Argentine, the Blaugrana’s chance of success is significantly lower, perhaps even alarmingly so when you consider his age.
Fans were on the edge of their seats whenever Messi took the ball on Wednesday, they were ready to see the latest instalment of the fleet-footed wizardry which left Jerome Boateng prone on the ground, although Wednesday was more a case of Messi turning provider rather than star.
The fact the partnership he has with Suarez is still present is a big boost for Ernesto Valverde, especially with Ousmane Dembele still flattering to deceive.
“We’re always glad that he is at the Camp Nou providing passes and assists,” Marc-Andre ter Stegen admitted.
“Just because he is there, it sets so many opponents back, with him things are always easier.
“We hope that he doesn’t get injured again and that he can play for another 90 minutes.”
After playing a grand total of 121 minutes in all competitions prior to the clash with Antonio Conte‘s charges, Messi will be left with good feelings after completing his first full match.
With Sevilla next on the agenda, the veteran will once again be hoping to play a key role across the entirety of the fixture.