Lionel Messi scores title winning goal for Barcelona after coming off the bench 1 year ago

Lionel Messi scores title winning goal for Barcelona after coming off the bench

Of course he did

Lionel Messi was rested for Barcelona's LaLiga fixure against Levante this evening. With a Champions League semi-final against Liverpool just around the corner, Ernesto Valverde took the decision to give their talisman a rest and Ousmane Dembélé an opportunity to impress on the right wing.

But with the match goalless at half-time, it was time for Messi to enter the stage and it didn't take long for him to make an impact. Just after the hour mark, the Argentine broke the deadlock with a trademark goal, wrong-footing two defenders in the box before sweeping the ball into the bottom left corner as we've seen him do so many times before.

That goal was enough to wrap up another LaLiga title for Barcelona. It is Messi's tenth league title since he made his debut in October 2004 and Barcelona's 26th in total. It was also Messi's 24th goal as a substitute during his LaLiga career, more than any other player. If only they could start him and bring him off the bench, eh?

Barcelona are now nine points clear of second placed Atlético Madrid with three games to play, so theoretically Diego Simeone's side could finish the season level on points with Barça. But in Spain, head to head results between two sides on equal points is the first differential, and after Barcelona took four points off Atléti this season, they were able to secure the league title before a testing Champions League semi-final midweek.