Lionel Messi Wednesday scored a brace to help Barcelona reduce the gap behind La Liga leaders, Atletico Madrid to seven (7) points giving Barca manager Ronald Koeman hope that they can still win the league this season.
Barcelona have two games in hand and are likely to be among title contenders considering their skipper, Lionel Messi, is regaining his form.
Barca had the worst start to the season, in 33-years, to the chagrin of Catalonia fans.
Although Koeman admitted last week it would be “very difficult” to close the gap, he was more optimistic after the 3-2 victory against Athletic Bilbao at San Mames. He said:
There is always a chance. The season is very long and you can have ups and downs. It may be that one team that is doing very well will later find it difficult.
The team is growing, playing with more confidence. Sometimes we look close to our best.
Barca trailed to an early (3rd minute) Inaki Williams strike but responded with a slick attacking performance that had Messi at the heart of it.
It was Messi’s cross that led to Pedri’s equaliser and then the Argentinian could have had a hat-trick, only for VAR and the woodwork to intervene.
Meanwhile, Messi’s future at Barca still remains uncertain after he recently said he will make a decision at the end of the season.
Before the start od the current season, Messi indicated his desire to leave the club citing lack of a long-term plan at the club.