Lionel Messi and Barcelona ‘angry’ after three straight slip-ups

first_imgLionel Messi was extremely unhappy after Barcelona dropped points for the third straight La Liga game as they scraped to a 1-1 draw with Athletic Bilbao at Camp Nou on Saturday.Messi surprisingly did not start the match against Athletic Bilbao and even Sergio Busquets was on the bench to which manager Ernesto Valverde later said, “I have to judge the games we have coming up and we have four games in the space of 10 days. I have to think about what might happen and I thought Leo and Busquets had to rest.”However, with Barcelona trailing following a 41st minute goal by Oscar de Marcos, both Messi and Busquets were called into action. After coming on the field, Messi hit the woodwork for the seventh time this season but later provided an assist for Munir El Haddadi’s 84th-minute equaliser.Also read – La Liga: Munir El Haddadi saves Barcelona blushes in Athletic Bilbao stalemateLast weekend, Barcelona had drawn 2-2 with Girona, where Clement Lenglet also got a red card and then lost 2-1 at lowly Leganes despite Philippe Coutinho putting the team ahead in the 12th minute.”We are not anxious because the season is long and has only just started, but we are angry about the last results,” Messi told reporters. “We didn’t expect them.”Against Leganes we played well in the first half and lost, and today we created chances to win but couldn’t.”De Marcos’s volley was the eighth goal the La Liga champions have conceded in seven games this season and Messi said his side urgently needed to improve in defence.advertisement#Messi#ForçaBarça pic.twitter.com/cHX6rgtVyLFC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) September 29, 2018″We are aware that we have to be much stronger defensively,” added Messi, who inherited the Barca captaincy from the departed Andres Iniesta this season.”Last year we hardly conceded goals but now teams are scoring against us with their first attempt. We cannot afford to concede goals in every game.”We have to improve and become stronger in defence, which is the most important thing.”Messi’s strike partner, Luis Suarez, also criticised the team’s display and said they needed to rid themselves of their dependence on their all-time top scorer.Also read – Real Madrid fail to exploit Barcelona’s slip-up with goalless draw in derby”He is the best in the world but we can’t rely on Leo to always sort everything out for us,” Suarez said.”The other players here are here on our own merits and we can’t depend on him or Busquets, we should have been winning when they came on to the pitch.”The Argentinian, asked about Suarez’s comments, said he agreed with his teammate.”We have the squad and the players to be a great team and not depend on anyone, like it always used to be at Barca,” Messi added.(With Reuters inputs)last_img

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