Barcelona started the game against Osasuna with just one first-team centre back fit in the form of Clement Lenglet. The Frenchman was partnering Oscar Mingueza in the heart of the defence, while Frenkie de Jong was deployed as part of the double pivot alongside Pedri.
With Barcelona already hamstrung with injuries this season, the only other thing apart from a convincing performance Culés were hoping for was a stop to the conveyer belt of constant injuries.
Alas, their hopes wer left unfulfilled as Clement Lenglet picked up an injury after winning a header. His landing, though, caused him problems as his right foot stretched away from his body following which his ankle twisted.
The 25-year-old was subbed off minutes later with Carles Aleña coming in to replace him, and de Jong moving into the backline to partner Mingueza.
There have been no further developments on Lenglet’s injury, yet, but it is one that has hampered Barcelona with no fit centre-backs in the senior squad. With Ronald Araujo still a week or two away from recovery, we might see more of Mingueza and de Jong and if push comes to shove, Arnau Comas being promoted, even if it is temporarily.
Official: Lionel Messi named La Liga Player of the Month for February
2021 has treated Barcelona very well. They have picked up more points this year alone than they did from September to December, even after the inclusion of more competitions, like the Spanish Super Cup. This charge has been led by none other than the GOAT – Lionel Messi. The Argentine has been rewarded for the same as he picks up the La Liga Player of the Month for February.
Messi was nominated alongside Real Madrid’s Thibaut Courtois, Real Sociedad’s Aleksander Isak, Real Betis’ Nabil Fekir, Levante’s Jose Luis Morales, Sevilla’s Yassine Bounou, and Athletic Bilbao’s Alek Berenguer for the award, but tipped each one of them to win it. This comes on the back of a sensational performance stretching across five games where he scored seven goals (including two braces), and two assists.
With this win, the six-time Ballon d’Or winner has extended his own records of the most wins, with eight such trophies to his name now. What is surprising, though, is that Messi did not win the first of his January 2016, almost two years after the award was introduced in the league (November 2013). It is also his first win in over a year, with the last of these trophies coming to him in November 2019.
❗Official — Leo Messi has been named La Liga Player of the Month for February! pic.twitter.com/uvF6w8tU7Z— Barça Universal (@BarcaUniversal) March 5, 2021
In fact, no Barcelona player achieved this feat in 24 months despite winning the La Liga once by this time. Neymar was the first player from Barça to get his hands on the trophy for his remarkable form in November 2015.
Unsurprisingly, Luis Suarez has won the award four times himself, etching his name alongside his two partners in crime. His name is alongside Iago Aspas and Antoine Griezmann, sharing the runners up position in the pedestal for the second-most wins of the award. Sadly, the latter has not been able to mark any wins since joining Barcelona in 2019. Other than the incredible MSN, Ansu Fati is the only player from the Garnet and Blue to win the Player of the Month, sealing it for himself in September 2020.
Frenkie de Jong was within a real shout to win the award last month, but Youssef En-Nesyri’s incredible form for Sevilla could not be overlooked.