Just the Facts: Focus on the failures of Lionel Messi

By July 03, 2019
Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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  • Jesus joins Messi, Lewandowski and Aguero on illustrious list after netting 50th Man City goal Jesus joins Messi, Lewandowski and Aguero on illustrious list after netting 50th Man City goal

    Gabriel Jesus joined an illustrious list of players after scoring his 50th Manchester City goal in the Premier League champions' 2-0 win over Crystal Palace.

    Jesus sent a glancing header in off the post to put City ahead 39 minutes into Saturday's encounter at Selhurst Park.

    David Silva doubled City's advantage with a wonderful volley two minutes later as Pep Guardiola's side moved to within five points of league leaders Liverpool.

    With his goal, Jesus brought up the milestone of 50 in all competitions for City, having joined the club in January 2017.

    The 22-year-old also became the seventh player to achieve the feat while playing for Guardiola, joining Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi and Bayern Munich forward Robert Lewandowski, along with City team-mates Sergio Aguero and Raheem Sterling.

    Jesus is only eight behind Pedro, but Messi leads the way with an incredible 211 goals during four seasons under Guardiola at Barca.

    "I'm very happy, you know, because last season I had a difficult start to the season," Jesus, who has now scored in each of his last seven starts for City, told Sky Sports.

    "This season is going to be different for me. I worked hard as well. I focus on the goal all the time and I think that's why I score a lot."

    1. Lionel Messi, Barcelona - 211

    2. Sergio Aguero, Manchester City - 103

    3. Thomas Muller, Bayern Munich - 79

    4. Raheem Sterling, Manchester City; Robert Lewandowski, Bayern Munich - both 67

    6. Pedro, Barcelona - 58

    7. Gabriel Jesus, Manchester City - 50

  • It's fashionable to not agree on political issues - Barca boss Valverde wants swift Clasico resolution It's fashionable to not agree on political issues - Barca boss Valverde wants swift Clasico resolution

    Ernesto Valverde thinks "it is fashionable not to agree on anything in political matters" and is keen for a new date for Barcelona's Clasico contest with Real Madrid to be signed off as soon as possible.

    The first LaLiga meeting between the fierce rivals this season was due to take place next Saturday at Camp Nou but the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) confirmed on Friday the match was postponed due to the ongoing political tensions and protests in Catalonia.

    There were violent scenes in Barcelona this week after nine Catalan political leaders received long prison sentences over their roles in the region's 2017 referendum and subsequent unilateral declaration of independence.

    The RFEF intervened after a rally in the city by pro-independence politicians was called for the same day as the Clasico.

    Barca later suggested December 18 as a potential new date and Madrid agreed with the proposal, which still requires ratification from the RFEF's Competition Committee.

    Speaking after Barca's 3-0 triumph at Eibar on Saturday, Valverde said: "I hope and I trust that we play this match before the end of the first round of fixtures, or at least before the end of the season.

    "It's fashionable to not agree on anything on political issues. I hope that [there is an agreement] in this. I don't think it's too difficult."

    On the pitch, Barca ultimately cruised at Ipurua with Antoine Griezmann, Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez all on target in a win that saw the Blaugrana reach LaLiga's summit, albeit Madrid can reclaim top spot against Real Mallorca later on Saturday.

    It was one of the best collaborative performances the trio have produced since Griezmann's close-season switch from Atletico Madrid and Valverde said it was a matter of time before the triumvirate gained an understanding playing with one another.

    "It's a question of time and of playing matches," Valverde added.

    "In the end, great players always find each other [on the pitch] and know where their team-mates will be and know where the pass will go.

    "They've participated and worked very hard. This is the reward. They scored a goal each, they understood each other well.

    "The new players are finding their place and trying to understand each other. It's a question of time before they understand each other better."

  • Griezmann: Messi and Suarez link getting better Griezmann: Messi and Suarez link getting better

    Antoine Griezmann believes his alliance with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez is progressing well after the forward trio combined to fine effect in the 3-0 win at Eibar.

    Griezmann settled Barca after a frantic opening to the contest, putting them ahead in the 13th minute.

    The €120million man then had a hand in second-half goals for Messi and Suarez as Barca moved to the top of the table ahead of Real Madrid playing later on Saturday.

    "There will be better or worse days, but we are getting to know each other little by little and we will do more," he told Movistar LaLiga.

    Griezmann's opener was made possible by his well-timed run and a wonderful raking pass from centre-back Clement Lenglet – a move the two France internationals conceived before executing it impressively.

    "We knew that Eibar were pressing a lot above and I told Lenglet that, if he saw me near the sideline, he should put it long," Griezmann said. "He did so and went 0-1.

    "It was important to win all three points because, after the international break, it is always difficult to come on away trips. 

    "It has been a good game and now we think about the Champions League."

    Ernesto Valverde's side travel to face Slavia Prague on Wednesday, having taken four points from their opening two European matches versus Borussia Dortmund and Inter.

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