An altogether concerning statistic surrounding Lionel Messi’s recent production versus Real Madrid has surfaced on the back of the latest Clasico showdown this evening.

Blancos get the job done

Eyes across the globe were of course on the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano on Saturday, as Spanish football’s two biggest clubs renewed rivalries.

Real Madrid welcomed Barcelona to the capital, for an absolutely crunch matchup in the race for the La Liga title.

Ahead of kick-off, the sides were separated by just two points in the Spanish top-flight table, with Atletico Madrid a further point clear of 2nd-placed Barca.

When all was said and done a short time ago, though, it was Zinedine Zidane’s champions who proved their mettle, to emerge with what could prove to be a vital 3 points.

A pulsating opening to proceedings saw the hosts strike first, as Karim Benzema carried forth his scintillating spell of individual form with a moment of magic inside 15 minutes:

WHAT A GOAL…KARIM BENZEMA! 😱

A brilliant run by Valverde, Lucas’ cross is perfectly judged, and Benzema finishes with an audacious backheel flick at the near post 🔥 pic.twitter.com/EfjcIW0enE

— Watch ElClásico live on Premier Sports 📺 (@PremierSportsTV) April 10, 2021

Then, just inside the half-hour mark, Toni Kroos made it two, after the German’s free-kick effort deflected off both Sergino Dest and Jordi Alba to find the net.

Barca, though, to their credit, reemerged for the 2nd-half looking reinvigorated, and were eventually rewarded for their endeavours with a goal of their own on 60 minutes.

Amid torrential rain in Madrid, Alba’s delivery from the left was directed home by Oscar Mingueza, setting up a tense final half-hour.

As the visitors pushed hard for an equaliser, Casemiro was given his marching orders in injury-time, before substitute Ilaix Moriba, with essentially the last kick of the game, rattled Thibaut Courtois’ crossbar:

Ilaix Moriba hits the bar, and then ter Stegen’s shot is blocked at the death! 😱

Real Madrid hold on for a truly colossal 2-1 #ElClasico win ⚪ pic.twitter.com/IOZmRpIoNg

— Watch ElClásico live on Premier Sports 📺 (@PremierSportsTV) April 10, 2021

The Blaugrana, though, simply couldn’t conjure up the one telling moment to secure themselves a share of the spoils, as Real returned to the La Liga summit for the first time since gameweek 5.

Messi misfiring

Making tonight’s result in the capital an even more disappointing one for Barcelona is of course the fact that it could well prove to be the last Clasico clash which captain Lionel Messi ever partakes in.

The Argentine’s contract at the Camp Nou is set to expire in the summer, with little indication having been forthcoming that he is prepared to put pen to paper on fresh terms.

And, if this does indeed prove to be the case, then the Catalans’ talisman, from a Clasico standpoint at least, looks set to go out with a whimper.

This comes with the remarkable statistic having surfaced online tonight that Messi has now not managed to find the net in any of his last seven appearances versus Real Madrid.

The 33-year-old’s last strike against Los Blancos came in May of 2018, in, coincidentally (or perhaps not), the final Clasico appearance of long-time rival Cristiano Ronaldo:

Lionel Messi has now failed to score in seven straight El Clásicos. His last goal came in a 2-2 draw on May 6.

That was also Cristiano Ronaldo’s last Clásico appearance… pic.twitter.com/yj8qy1xavo

— talkSPORT (@talkSPORT) April 10, 2021

 

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