Barcelona's 3-2 loss on Saturday set a number of unwanted records for their Argentine superstar, as Valencia stunned the footballing world.
Lionel Messi probably expected a routine day at the office at Camp Nou yesterday morning.
Sure, no game is easy nowadays - but one of the best players in the world (let's not get into that debate now) was probably confident of beating a side sitting in 10th-place in La Liga at his home ground. Especially when you consider the fact that Barcelona had not lost at home in the league all season.
And especially if you consider the fact that Messi had never lost a home game at Barca after having scored for them.
So you can imagine the Argentine's confidence when he netted from the spot to restore parity against Valencia in the second half. The visitors had twice taken the lead and here Messi had pegged them back for a second time with his first league goal since September.
Surely that would mark an end to their resistance? Surely, after 99 wins and seven draws at Camp Nou when Messi had scored, Barcelona wouldn't lose now? Surely, after 25 games unbeaten at home, Barca's fortress wouldn't yield?
And yet it did just that, as Paca Alcacer put Valencia 3-2 up just five minutes later, the hosts failing to hit back while Jordi Alba was also sent off 12 minutes from time.
History was made.
"We had the impression that the match was over after half an hour and we paid for that. I said that we will pay for our errors and we committed errors today,” boss Tata Martino told reporters after the game.
“Their goal at the end of the first half hurt us and we lost confidence. Their second goal made us desperate.
“Now we’re playing in a completely different competition. We will try to regain the ground that we will most likely lose this weekend. We still have to play against our direct rivals. I’m concerned and I want to bounce back from this as soon as possible.”
So too, no doubt, will Messi, whose staggering run of never losing at home when scoring is finally over.
Now, with Real Madrid and Atletico both having the chance to go above Barcelona this weekend, the fight for the La Liga title is well and truly on.
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