Sergio Busquets unsurprised with Lionel Messi’s consistent performances

Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets has said that there is no surprise element with regards to the performances of Lionel Messi in the club’s shirt. The Argentina international recently reached the 40-goal landmark for the 10th season on the bounce after he bagged a brace in the 2-0 triumph over Espanyol.

Speaking after the game, Busquets lauded the efforts of the club captain but stressed that the players are not surprised with what he does on the playing field, he said: “His (Messi’s) performances may be unusual from the outside, but they do not surprise us. “What he does in training is more difficult in matches, but we are used to it.”

Meanwhile, manager Ernesto Valverde was more pleased with the outcome of the Espanyol clash after they were left frustrated for 70 minutes, he said: “They were defensive and didn’t give us much space and it was difficult to get through them. We had to have patience and we had to be careful they didn’t catch us on the counter-attack. They held us at bay until the second half but once we got the first goal we were in control.”

Barcelona found themselves without a goal for more than an hour with chances few and far between. However, Messi found the breakthrough in the 71st minute and he thereafter doubled the advantage with one minute of normal time remaining. With the result, the Catalan giants have managed to maintain the 10-point advantage over Atletico Madrid at the top of the league standings and they could seal the title next month, should they keep on with the current winning run.

Elsewhere, the Blaugrana have a good chance of pushing for the Champions League crown after reaching the quarter-final stage where they are favourites to overcome Manchester United. Barcelona make the trip to Old Trafford for the opening leg on April 10.