Ken Early: Sad truth is Messi has become a problem for Barcelona

Allowing the wonderful but slow star to set the tempo for the club has been a disaster

Lionel Messi looks dejected as Bayern Munich run riot. Photo: Manu Fernandez/Pool via Getty Images

Lionel Messi looks dejected as Bayern Munich run riot. Photo: Manu Fernandez/Pool via Getty Images

The seventh goal was the saddest. Lionel Messi comes back to his own half to get the ball, turns and scans the options. Philippe Coutinho at one o’clock. Lucas Hernandez further back at two, David Alaba stepping forward at twelve. Corentin Tolisso closer, at eleven o’clock. Thiago at eight. Where are all his teammates?

The closest is Frenkie de Jong, across the pitch at nine o’clock. But as Messi tries to pass to de Jong, somebody’s big foot suddenly appears to knock the ball away towards Thiago. He had missed Robert Lewandowski sneaking up from six o’clock. Bayern charge forward, Messi decides there’s no point in chasing back. Thiago passes to Thomas Müller, who finds Coutinho, who scores easily.

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