HomeSPORTSSuper sub Messi inspires Barcelona defend La Liga crown
Super sub Messi inspires Barcelona defend La Liga crown
April 28, 2019
Barcelona successfully defended its
Spanish La Liga crown after beating Levante 1-0 on Saturday, courtesy of the
magical Lionel Messi.
The Argentine came off the bench at
halftime to send his side on its way to a pivotal 3 points, much to the delight
of the home support.
The win moved the Catalan club 9
points clear of Atletico Madrid in second place with three games left to play
— but a superior head-to-head record hands them an unassailable lead.
It’s the fourth title Barcelona has
won in the past five years and it kept alive hopes of a prestigious treble this
Messi has now won 10 La Liga titles
The forward has been pivotal in his
team’s success this season and looks set to be named La Liga top scorer with 34
goals already to his name.
His closest competition comes in the
form of teammate Luis Suarez, who sits second in the standings on 21.
The win is Barcelona’s 26th title,
but they still trail Real Madrid’s record tally of 33 domestic crowns.
However, Zinedine Zidane’s side has
struggled for consistency since star player Cristiano Ronaldo left the club,
and it is languishing 15 points behind Barcelona in third.
Ernesto Valverde had promised not to
rest key players for the fixture against relegation-threatened Levante, but
there was one notable absentee from the starting lineup.
Messi, who now boasts 10 domestic
titles, was seemingly rested for the first half with perhaps one eye on
Wednesday’s Champions League semifinal first-leg against Liverpool.
However, the Argentine star was
introduced at the break with the scores level after a frustrating first half in
which Barcelona failed to convert a host of chances.
Predictably, it was Messi who made
the breakthrough just after the hour mark after a sustained period of pressure.
The 31-year-old demonstrated his
trademark quick feet to control the ball before sending it on its way to the
The Nou Camp was rocking in
celebration as fans watched their side wrap up the title race at home for the
first time since 2010.
Valverde can now focus on the
remaining cup competitions as he looks to guide his team to three major honors
Barcelona face Liverpool in the Champions League
and will look to win the Copa del Rey against Valencia on May 25.