Lionel Messi: We Will Try
Barcelona has had a string of shaky performances in the Champions League this season, but so far they have been able to count on Messi to save them from their woes, as he did in the two previous rounds against AC Milan (overcoming a 2-goal deficit,) and PSG.
This time the test might be too much for the young Argentinian superstar that acts as Barcelona's success backbone. Coming out of a hamstring incident, Messi is not injured but also not quite fit yet. Playing safe against Bayern may have improved his chances of full recovery by the next game, but it also meant that Lionel was unable to use his superior dribbling to power through or create opportunities, and by the end of the match he didn't fire a single shot at goal.
It seems clear that when the four-time Ballon d’Or winner is not at his best, the team doesn't step up. Weak at the back and outplayed in most areas, Barcelona fell to its worst defeat in European competition since the 4-0 loss against AC Milan in 1994. Messi acknowledged: "they were better than us, they were much stronger. They were superior in everything.”
Now Barcelona will play at home to face the uphill battle of overcoming a 4 goal deficit. "You have to go for it and try to achieve it. They are very good, but we will try it," admitted the determined striker. But can he step up to the next game the way he has done in the last two rounds? And will a top-form Messi be enough to tear through a magnificent Bayern Munich that carries a historical lead into the next game?