Barcelona failed to score in a Champions League group stage game for the first time in five years as Olympiacos held them to a goalless draw.
Victory in Greece would have booked Barca’s passage to the knock-out phase but the three points proved elusive on a night when Luis Suarez hitting the top of the crossbar was as close as the visitors came.
Here, we look at Messi’s performance in-depth.
Goals – 0
Assists – 0
Shots – 7 (5)
Dribbles – 4
Passes – 54
Key passes – 4
Pass Accuracy – 77.6%
Touches – 90
Making his 119th Champions League appearance against Olympiacos, the Argentine had a quiet start to the contest, but began to catch fire as the match progressed.
As ever, he looked like the star man – making four key passes – but failed to get the necessary assistance from his teammates, as they went in search of breaching a granite-like Olympiacos defence.
Central to two key chances in the opening period, he sparked into life after the break, presenting opportunities for Denis Suarez and Luis Suarez – both of whom were denied.
The 30-year-old had the best chance of the match after the hour mark, but miscued a left-footed effort due to his body positioning.
He was solid as ever, making the second most amount of touches on the night (90) – only behind teammate Sergio Busquets (123).
21 mins – Messi receives the ball from a corner and unleashes a sumptuous shot from 15 yards but it’s saved by Silvio Proto.
28 mins – He jumps into life again and almost wrestles through on goal, fending off three Olympiacos defenders, but his shot is well saved by Proto.
35 mins – Suarez is chopped down under the challenge of Botia, and from the ensuing free kick, Messi strikes the ball straight at Proto.
55 mins – He comes skipping through the middle and draws three defenders before slipping the ball out to Denis Suarez, however the latter’s poor decision making sees the chance fizzle out.
62 mins – Chance of the game so far as Messi flicks the ball on to Luis Suarez, and collects the return pass, only to put his off-balance shot wide. It’s rare for this duo not to punish teams with that sort of attack.
88 mins – Barcelona came barrelling forward for one final attack. A free-kick is awarded, and Messi strikes a powerful effort straight at the keeper again.
OUR VERDICT – 8/10
Produced a stellar display as he attempted to inspire the visitors to victory at Piraeus.
Showed glimpses of his talent with slick touches, threatening runs down the middle and neat interplay, but lacked his magical finishing ability on a frustrating night for the Catalan giants.
Despite missing a key chance in the second half, the Argentine was at the heart of Barcelona’s attacking play but the away side failed to engineer a breakthrough.
All statistics are compiled using whoscored.com.