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Lionel Messi news: Stats prove how badly Luis Suarez has let down the Argentine in Champions League

ANALYST
News
2.60K   //    14 May 2019, 13:56 IST

Barcelona v Liverpool - UEFA Champions League Semi Final: First Leg
Barcelona v Liverpool - UEFA Champions League Semi Final: First Leg

What's the story?

Luis Suarez has failed to share the goalscoring burden with Lionel Messi across Barcelona's recent Champions League campaigns, a key reason why the Blaugrana have struggled in the competition off late. The Uruguayan has scored just two goals in his last two Champions League campaigns, as compared to Messi's tally of 18!

In case you didn't know...

Although Barcelona are well on course for another domestic double, they once again faltered in the Champions League. The Catalan giants have already won La Liga and will face Valencia in the Copa del Rey final later this month.

However, Barcelona were eliminated from the semi-finals of the Champions League by Liverpool last week. Although Ernesto Valverde's team won the first leg 3-0 at the Camp Nou, the Reds put in a spirited display in the return fixture to beat them 4-0 at Anfield. It was the second successive season where Barcelona failed to protect their three-goal lead from the first leg, with the Blaugrana suffereing a similar fate against Roma last season.

Besides leading the goalscoring charts in La Liga, Messi is the top scorer in the Champions League as well, with the Argentine netting 12 goals in the continental competition this season.

The heart of the matter

Barcelona, who last won the Champions League in 2014-15, have been knocked out from the quarter-finals in 2015-16, 2016-17 and 2017-18 before getting eliminated in the semi-finals this season. Tabulating the top scorers for Barcelona in the Champions League for the last two season, the results are shocking:

  1. Lionel Messi – 18
  2. Own goals – 6
  3. Ousmane Dembele – 4
  4. Philippe Coutinho – 3
  5. Gerard Pique – 3
  6. Luis Suarez and Ivan Rakitic – 2
  7. Lucas Digne, Paco Alcacer, Rafinha, Malcom and Jordi Alba – 1

This list alone reflect how over-reliant Barcelona are on Messi, with star striker Suarez repeatedly failing to share the goalscoring responsibilities with the Argentine talisman.

What's next?

Valverde will be looking to give the academy players a chance in the first team for this Sunday's La Liga fixture away at Eibar. Barcelona's focus will remain steadfastly on the Copa del Rey final against Valencia on 25th May.

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