Barcelona are a club in turmoil, both on and off the field but things are starting to look brighter for the Spaniards after the performance against joint-league leaders Real Sociedad, which saw the Catalan side come back from a goal down to record crucial three points. This win brought the Blaugranas right back into the title race as they are now just six points off the top. La Liga 2020-21 Best Forwards: Lionel Messi, Karim Benzema and Other Top Strikers in Spain's Top Division Football League This Season.

Barcelona kicked off the game, nine points behind La Real and a defeat would have seen them be much closer to the relegation zone rather than the top. But in a must-win encounter, so early into the season for the Blaugranas, they managed to step up and secure a win after going a goal down to the Basque side.

Jordi Alba’s weak-footed strike quickly followed by Frenkie de Jong’s first goal of the season, saw Barcelona turn-around the deficit against an in-form La Real side. Although the Catalans had to work hard in the second half, they managed to hold on to the result. Following that win, Lionel Messi posted this photo on his Instagram.


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A post shared by Leo Messi (@leomessi)

In hindsight, the picture might not look like much, but in a week where the entire team’s attitude and passion have been questioned following disappointing displays against Cadiz and Juventus, this kind of gesture from their captain will surely mean a lot to the Barcelona players and give them much-needed confidence.

The Catalan team looked like a different side – both physically and mentally - than the one which has taken the field for more often than not this season. Players looked hungry, more determined to make an impact, led by their captain Lionel Messi. The Argentine was very much involved in the game, despite not scoring, he created chances and even had more successful tackles than anyone else on the pitch.

‘We've seen the best Barcelona in a long time. On a defensive level, and that speaks well for them and the respect they had for the game. It's been a while since I've seen a Barcelona side which were that aggressive. Even [Lionel] Messi was getting stuck in to win the ball back’ said La Real manager Imanol Alguacil after the game.

Things might be on the up for Barcelona after a poor start to the season, which has seen them endure their worst runs in domestic and European competitions in decades, but still, a lot of issues are yet to be sorted out as Valencia come to town next. But manager Ronald Koeman believes the team are on the right path.

‘With this attitude and this intensity we will be where we should be,’ the Dutchman said post-game. ‘It was the best game of the year. I'm really pleased with the team's attitude and fight. The motivation was big and we keep climbing’ he added.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Dec 17, 2020 04:38 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website