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Lionel Messi Has Now Gone 40 Shots From Open Play Without Scoring

Lionel Messi Has Now Gone 40 Shots From Open Play Without Scoring

After a transfer window during which he stated his desire to leave Barcelona, Lionel Messi has not been his usual prolific self so far for Barcelona this term.

The six-time Ballon d'Or winner has struck four times in all competitions but all of his goals have been from penalties - three in the Champions League and one in La Liga.

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Uncharacteristically, Messi has been rather wasteful from open play as he's now taken 40 shots (an average of 4.6 per game) without scoring and will no doubt be desperate to end the absolute rut he finds himself in at the moment.

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Image: PA
Image: PA

After all, the likes of Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Mats Hummels have more goals in open play than him.

The Argentine has made a career out of scoring all types of goals from different angles, distances and situations but he's also come up against some goalkeepers in inspired form of late.

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Deportivo Alaves' goalkeeper Fernando Pacheco Flores wouldn't let him pass in the 1-1 draw at the weekend, while one of 18-year-old goalkeeper Ruslan Neshcheret's 12 saves for Dynamo Kiev was a stunning stop to deny Messi scoring another trademark free-kick.

Messi also received criticism for displaying a lack of effort in stoppage time of the 2-1 win. The short video sees Messi strolling about and flat out refusing to press a Dynamo player as he carries the ball in the middle of the pitch.

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Will Messi be back near the top of the scoring charts soon? Are Ronald Koeman's tactics hindering him?

Sound off in the comments.

Topics: Football News, FC Barcelona, Football, Lionel Messi

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Josh Lawless

Josh is a sports journalist who specialises in football and wrestling. He has been published by Curzon Ashton FC, Late Tackle, Manchester City FC, The Mirror, Read Man City and Manchester Evening News. He provides coverage of professional wrestling and has interviewed some of the biggest names in the field - including the first UK interview with The Hardy Boyz after their return to WWE. He has never sported a pair of Lonsdale Slip-ons, contrary to reports.