Messi comes off bench to help Barca salvage draw

A crest fallen Gerard Pique gifts Leganes the lead

The debate about Barca's dependence on Messi is not a new one, but it resurfaced on Saturday when the Argentine came off the bench to help them salvage a point at Camp Nou as their winless run extended to three games.

"None of the Barcelona players came after the game to speak to us, and I think that is an ugly gesture".

"I knew it was a risky decision, but if it had gone well, you wouldn't be asking me about it".

Messi was introduced early in the second period and the hosts improved as a result, with the Argentinian star inspiring an eventual equaliser, picking out Munir El Haddadi late on.

"We are a humble side. but I like it when people who are used to winning lose, salute the other team and say congratulations, something Barcelona did not do to any of our players", the 34-year-old told Cadena Ser radio. "Sergi Roberto got injured today, imagine if Messi had".

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However, Ter Stegen explained that Barcelona's reaction to the shock defeat was born out of frustration at their own performance as they gave up two goals in 68 seconds after half-time to lose 2-1. And one of the changes was the introduction of Messi for the faltering Arturo Vidal.

Brazil superstar Philippe Coutinho opened scoring for the Catalans in the 12th minute of the encounter after being assisted by Lionel Messi.

Barcelona are still top of the league but they have slipped up for three games in a row and are far from their best.

Barca continued to push for a second goal and were almost rewarded in the 16th minute when Lionel Messi rattled the crossbar with a strike from the edge of the box. Messi was also booked after the final whistle for dissent as the home side's frustration spilled over.

"He is the best in the world but we can't rely on Leo to always sort everything out for us", the Uruguayan said.

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