Fans have condemned Lionel Messi after footage of his defending in the final stages of Barcelona’s win over Dynamo Kiev went viral.
Messi scored another penalty but Barcelona had Marc-Andre ter Stegen to thank for a nervy 2-1 Champions League win over Dynamo Kiev on Wednesday.
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Goalkeeper Ter Stegen had to make a string of excellent stops at Camp Nou to save Barca from slipping up against a depleted Dynamo side, who were without nine first-team players after they tested positive for coronavirus.
And while Messi’s goal proved a match-winner, fans were less than impressed with his display in the final minutes of the match.
With Dynamo Kiev pressing for a late equaliser, Messi could be seen WALKING as Oleksandr Andrievsky strolled past him and downfield with the ball.
Messi made no attempt to tackle Andrievsky or put any pressure on him whatsoever, leaving fans fuming on social media.
I love messi. But this is unacceptable. https://t.co/MpSwKxknHS
— INTERISSSHHHHHHTAAAAAAA (@SiRrCoNTeSzn) November 5, 2020
Klopp would put Messi on bench of under 21 for walking like this.
Absolute disgrace. https://t.co/1jlQX2xMsq
— Ricky Kapoor 🇮🇳 (@rickykapoor85) November 5, 2020
This is a disgrace. Doesn’t matter if your Messi or not. You work for the team no matter what. https://t.co/Kb37GzTgXy
— Carl Coffey (@CarlCoffey12) November 5, 2020
Absolute disgrace that is from Messi
— Mark Butt (@MarkButt12) November 5, 2020
Pathetic and childish from Messi 🤦♂️ https://t.co/6C5hQrG1Mu
— Cormac Mc Closkey (@IcemanClosk) November 5, 2020
Doesn't matter how much ability you have... This is unacceptable, Messi should be leading by example, especially with so many young players in the squad. https://t.co/DIBnldTCLm
— MSC (@Kloppista_LFC) November 4, 2020
The Argentinian superstar begrudgingly agreed to stay at Barcelona this season after requesting a release.
Following reports he had agreed to a $1.1 billion deal to join Manchester City, Messi only agreed to stay in Spain because he didn’t want to drag Barcelona through the courts to secure his exit.
Barcelona narrowly avoid embarrassment
Viktor Tsygankov gave Dynamo hope with 15 minutes left after Messi scored a penalty and Gerard Pique headed in, but Ter Stegen's heroics ensured Barcelona held on for their third victory out of three in Group G.
Their 100 per cent record so far in the Champions League, which included an impressive performance away at Juventus last week, has come in stark contrast to a stumbling start to the season in La Liga.
A 1-1 draw away at Alaves on Saturday made it four league games without a win and leaves Barcelona sitting 12th in the table, eight points behind Real Madrid.
“In the Champions League we’re fine, in the league we have to change but I'm convinced we will,” said Pique.
“The mood is better, there are new players, young players who are bringing dynamism to the group and the way we play.”
Victory against Dynamo was all-important for morale and for coach Ronald Koeman, whose future is uncertain given a new president will take over in the next three months after the resignation of Josep Maria Bartomeu.
Yet there were no celebrations from the players at full-time and Koeman's face throughout was one of angst and frustration as Ter Stegen was repeatedly called upon.
“We are happy because we won,” said Koeman.
“But we have to play better than we did today. We have to improve, above all without the ball, where we haven't played well.”
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