Most players, after a spell on the sidelines through injury, are afforded the luxury of a few matches to get back up to speed and obtain match fitness; Lionel Messi is no ordinary player and last night in the Camp Nou the best player in the world returned to the Barcelona starting eleven for the first time since injuring his knee at the end of September and helped blow Roma away in the Champions League.
It must be said that in the absence of Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar have been in scintillating form and maintained Barcelona’s impressive form but when the three are together and playing as they did on Tuesday night it is something to be admired.
Barcelona were already a goal up through Suarez when Messi truly announced his return, finishing off the move of the match with an exquisite chip over Wojciech Szczęsny. 27 passes from the Barca defence suddenly increased in tempo before Messi was released with a ball over the top. There were no signs of rust as the Argentina captain pulled the ball down and deftly flicked it into the net.
27 – There were 27 passes ahead of Lionel Messi’s goal vs AS Roma, a season-high in the Champions League. Smooth. pic.twitter.com/gi2PFIaVJ0
— OptaJohan (@OptaJohan) November 24, 2015