Two players are having a huge impact on Barça’s goalscoring ability this season. Leo Messi and Neymar Jr. They’ve scored 15 of the team’s 22 goals in La Liga and the Champions League. The Argentinian has 7 and the Brazilian 8. That’s 68% of all goals, while the duo has played some kind of role in 19 of the total 22 goals for the team.
Messi’s seven goals are on a relative par with previous season. At this stage last year, he had eight goals, and he also had eight in 2012/13 and ten in 2011/12 (his best ever). But where there has been a substantial improvement is in the number of assists provided by the Argentinian. He has made eight so far, four of which were for Neymar.
It is no mere coincidence that he and the Brazilian are combining so well this term. As Messi himself told a press conference last week, Luis Enrique has opted not to play the wingers out so wide and that means they are working closer to the area, meaning they are more likely to work together to create goal chances.
And that’s clearly having a huge benefit on Neymar. He has scored eight goals in eight games this campaign, seven of those in the league, more than the six he scored in the whole first half of the last Liga season. That’s an average of a goal every 48 minutes, with a 70% success rate (7 goals in 10 attempts).
|Date||Minute||Player||Opponent||Where||From where||How||Assisted by|
|24/08/2014||42||Messi||Elche||Home||Inside the area||Left||Busquets|
|24/08/2014||63||Messi||Elche||Home||Inside the area||Left|
|13/09/2014||79||Neymar||Athletic||Home||Inside the area||Left||Messi|
|13/09/2014||84||Neymar||Athletic||Away||Inside the area||Right||Messi|
|21/09/2014||34||Neymar||Levante||Away||Inside the area||Right||Messi|
|21/09/2014||77||Messi||Levante||Away||Inside the area||Right|
|27/09/2014||26||Neymar||Granada||Home||Inside the area||Right|
|27/09/2014||45||Neymar||Granada||Home||Inside the area||Right|
|27/09/2014||62||Messi||Granada||Home||Inside the area||Head||Dani Alves|
|27/09/2014||66||Neymar||Granada||Home||Inside the area||Right||Messi|
|27/09/2014||82||Messi||Granada||Home||Inside the area||Right|
|04/10/2014||35||Messi||Rayo||Away||Inside the area||Left||Piqué|
|04/10/2014||36||Neymar||Rayo||Away||Inside the area||Right||El Haddadi|
Source: Opta Sports