Barcelona striker Lionel Messi has said his team’s 3-2 loss to Real Sociedad on Saturday was not entirely unexpected.
Trailing 2-0 after 25 minutes, Philippe Montanier’s men staged an incredible comeback to stun Messi – who scored in his 10th successive league game – and Barca.
But the newly-crowned Balon d’Or winner told reporters it was almost impossible to go through a league campaign undefeated, and turned his attention to the second leg of their Copa del Rey quarter-final with Malaga, which is poised at 2-2.
“Losing a game had to come at some point,” Messi said.
“We have to pick ourselves up immediately because of the cup match coming up.”
Meanwhile Pedro, who scored Barca’s other goal, was quick to blame the defeat on the referee’s decision to produce a second yellow-card for Gerard Pique.
“Pique’s red card conditioned the match, because it was a (tackle) that wasn’t dangerous. On Thursday, we simply cannot fail,” he said.