The match between Barcelona and Espanyol on Sunday was an exceptional display of Messi’s football skills. His sensational performance was specifically appreciated by Terry Gibson, the Spanish football expert, and co-commentator on Sky Sports.
Barcelona gained a 4-1 victory at the Nou Camp against their local rivals Espanyol as Messi made two assists and one goal in the game.
Gibson is the view that Barcelona’s two drawn games in the home league and their consistently poor performance in the past motivated Messi to buck up and beat their cross-town opponents. It was this intense desire to revive Barcelona’s image in the public that prompted Messi to perform brilliantly.
On the La Liga Weekly podcast, this is how Gibson shared his views regarding football and Lionel Messi.
“I love watching football, I love playing football, but every now and then something comes up that just elevates it – one individual highlight, one piece of skill, something completely out of the ordinary. We see great goals, great passes, and great players, and they make you realize that’s the reason I watch 10 games every weekend. You watch in the hope you might see something spectacular and that’s what we saw against Espanyol. It wasn’t just Messi either because Andres Iniesta was superb too.”
Espanyol has remained unbeaten in seven out of the nine league games before Barcelona defeated them on Sunday. This victory moved Barcelona up the list but they still fall three points short of the league leaders Real Madrid.
Gibson gave a really detailed review of the match along with his personal opinions.
“There are an obvious rivalry and the fixtures in the last few seasons have become really aggressive. Espanyol is putting up a really good fight and Barca is facing a decent side under Quique Sanchez Flores. It wasn’t an easy game for Barca and they had to capitalize on the fact Real Madrid were not playing by closing the gap. Real Madrid has a game in hand away to Valencia but could you imagine if Barca had drawn at home to Espanyol. Their form at the Nou Camp has not been great. It was so important and I think that’s why Messi was so good. Iniesta back in the team makes Barcelona so much better too. It was critical they got all three points.”
A lot of credit for this victory goes to Iniesta who recovered from injury and did a great job on Sunday to win laurels for the team. It was because of his presence that Barcelona won three consecutive matches and this feat gained him enough praise from Gibson.
Iniesta’s searching pass to Suarez in the first half of the game helped Uruguayan made the first goal at the Nou Camp and Gibson said that Iniesta is an excellent midfielder whose abilities bring charm to the game.
“Tiki-taka is about doing the right pass at the right time so if you are under pressure deep in your own half, Iniesta knows he has the perfect player in Luis Suarez. Suarez is the best multiple-touch finisher in the world. That means his first touch with his weaker foot makes up for the fact he’s not lightning quick. He gets in front of the defender and has the determination to hold them off and the ability to finish off those chances. There were probably 50 short passes from Iniesta that were the right decisions but when he sees space in behind, it is the right thing to play long. There is room for all types of play and it helps Barcelona be less predictable.”