Barcelona qualified for the Champions League quarter-finals thanks in part to Lionel Messi‘s extraordinary performance against Napoli.
As he has done several times in his career, the Argentine was key in the Blaugrana‘s victory at the Camp Nou.
It took him just 20 excellent minutes to defeat a team that couldn’t find any way to stop him.
In that space of time, Messi won a penalty and scored twice, although one of his goals was disallowed for a handball.
His display on Saturday is both good and bad news for Barcelona, whose main objective this season is to win the Champions League.
On the one hand, when Messi is in good form, they are able to beat any team.
But, on the other hand, he barely receives any help from his teammates.
In recent years, the Argentina international has made up for many of Barcelona‘s deficiencies with his goals.
The main problem is that when Messi does not deliver, the rest of the team have a hard time taking a step forward.
If we stick to Saturday’s game, the statistics speak for themselves.
Napoli edged the possession battle with 53 percent of the ball, and they also had more shots at goal than the home side.
Messi was the factor that unbalanced the opposition defence, and if he does the same in the game against Bayern Munich, Barcelona will have the upper hand in the quarter-final.
However, they can’t ask him to save the team every game and players such as Antoine Griezmann and Luis Suarez need to come to the fore.
Fortunately Messi didn’t suffer an injury following Kalidou Koulibaly‘s challenge on Saturday, but he will need to rest until the game against the Bavarians.
The 33-year-old has already eliminated Bayern twice in the past and he will try to do the same in Lisbon on Friday night.