Barcelona suffered a 2-0 defeat to rivals Real Madrid on Sunday night, with Lionel Messi firing a blank as his side surrendered top spot in La Liga.
Goals from Vinicius Jr and Mariano sealed all three points for Los Blancos, who now sit a point clear at the top of the La Liga table with just 12 games to go.
It remains to be seen if that win is decisive in the title race, but it will undoubtedly be a big blow to Barcelona’s confidence and momentum as they’ll have to now avoid dropping further points in the coming weeks.
One thing that will be of concern for the reigning Spanish champions though is talisman Messi’s form in El Clasico in recent times, with AS reporting that he has failed to register a single goal or assist in the five meetings between the two clubs since Cristiano Ronaldo joined Juventus in the summer of 2018.
Having bagged 21 goals in 33 games against the Portuguese superstar and Real Madrid prior to that, it’s a bizarre drop off for the Argentine icon who just can’t get going against the capital club since his rival moved on.
It’s difficult to draw a direct correlation between the two things as they seemingly don’t have any connection. That said, something has certainly changed for Messi since Ronaldo left, and he’ll be desperate to put that right and end his drought the next time the two Spanish giants meet.