Barcelona's Record Without Lionel Messi Is Worryingly Bad
Barcelona's draw with Osasuna on Saturday left them with just four points from the opening three games of the season and with just one win in the last eight games Lionel Messi has missed.
Ernesto Valverde's side went behind early to Osasuna on Saturday but came back to lead 2-1, thanks to goals from Ansu Fati and Arthur, with the former breaking a club record for their youngest La Liga scorer, however they dropped two points after Roberto Torres' late equaliser.
The Spanish champions were once again without Messi, with a calf injury picked up in the summer keeping him out indefinitely, and their failure to win continued a poor run when the Argentine is out.
Since November 2018 Messi has missed eight games and only the 5-2 win against Real Betis last week ended in a win for Barca:
November 6th, 2018 - Inter Milan 1-1 Barcelona
January 10th 2019 - Levante 2-1 Barcelona
January 23th 2019 - Sevilla 2-0 Barcelona
April 13th 2019 - Huesca 0-0 Barcelona
May 4th 2019 - Celta Vigo 2-0 Barcelona
August 16th 2019 - Athletic Bilbao 1-0 Barcelona
August 25th 2019 - Barcelona 5-2 Real Betis
August 31st 2019 - Osasuna 2-2 Barcelona
Barca had to play their pre season without their number 10 because of the calf injury and started the season without him when they faced Athletic Bilbao.
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The La Liga champions dominated the game with 72% possession but they couldn't break their opponents down and Luis Suarez went off injured early in the first half.
Aritz Aduriz' brilliant late overhead kick gave the hosts all three points and handed Valverde's team a wake up call that the league won't be easy.
Despite going behind early to Betis last weekend Barca did recover to win relatively comfortably, beating Betis 5-2 thanks to a brace from Antoine Griezmann.
However their form without Messi continued this weekend and it might be exactly why the club have been trying so hard to re-sign Neymar this summer.
The Brazilian forward has reportedly asked to move back to the Nou Camp and PSG have looked ready to sell him but they don't want to lose too much money from the £198 million they spent two summers ago.
Rumours have linked several players with going in the opposite direction of part of any deal but the latest rumours on Saturday suggested Neymar is now set to stay in France.
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