'We have been erratic and weak' - Lionel Messi blasts Barcelona after La Liga title dream ends

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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - Barcelona star Lionel Messi blasted his team for being "weak" after seeing Real Madrid grab the La Liga title on Thursday.

Real Madrid wrested the league title away from Barcelona for the first time in three years and Messi said Barca must quickly change course to have a chance at winning the Champions League.

Zinedine Zidane's team clinched the title by beating Villarreal 2-1 but would have lifted the trophy regardless after Barcelona slumped to a 2-1 loss to an Osasuna side that finished with 10 men.

“This game represents the entire year. We have been an erratic and weak team,” Messi said in a TV interview just after the final whistle at Camp Nou.

“Madrid did its part by winning all its matches, which is impressive, but we also helped them to win this league. We have to be critical of how we have played, starting with the players, and the rest of the club.”

Barcelona led the league by two points over Madrid when the league was stopped in mid-March for three months due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Madrid returned to the competition motivated and in shape, reeling off 10 straight wins.

Barcelona drew three matches to lose the lead, and on Thursday hit a new low when they lost their first home match since November 2018.

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Real win the title

Real Madrid's player lift manager Zinedine Zidane after winning the La Liga title following their win over Villarreal at the Alfredo Di Stefano Stadium on Thursday. AFP

Real Madrid's captain Sergio Ramos lifts the La Liga trophy after their win over Villarreal CF at the Alfredo Di Stefano Stadium on Thursday. EPA

Real Madrid's captain Sergio Ramos celebrated winning the La Liga title with his players at the Alfredo Di Stefano Stadium. EPA

Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane and captain Sergio Ramos with the La Liga trophy. AFP

Real Madrid's Karim Benzema with the La Liga trophy. EPA

Real Madrid players lift the La Liga trophy after their win over Villarreal. Getty

Real Madrid's Eden Hazard with manager Zinedine Zidane. Reuters

Real Madrid's Rodrygo,Vinicius and teammates celebrate after winning La Liga title. Reuters

Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane lifted his 11th trophy with the club as manager. EPA

Real Madrid's goalkeeper Courtois with the La Liga trophy. EPA

Real Madrid´s fans celebrate winning the league title at Cibeles square in Madrid. AFP

Real Madrid´s fans celebrate winning the league title at Cibeles square in Madrid. AFP

Karim Benzema of Real Madrid scoring the second goal from a penalty against Villarreal on Thursday. Getty

Gerard Moreno of Villarreal is tackled by Vinicius Junior of Madrid. Getty

Villarreal's defender Mario Gaspar challenges Real Madrid's Karim Benzema. AFP

Real Madrid's Karim Benzema celebrates scoring their first goal. Reuters

Real Madrid's players celebrate winning the La Liga title at the Alfredo Di Stefano Stadium. AP

Real Madrid's Karim Benzema, left, shoots to score against Villarreal. AP

Karim Benzema and teammates celebrate scoring against Villarreal. Getty

Real Madrid's Karim Benzema celebrates with Sergio Ramos. AFP

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“The feeling on this team is that it tries, but that it cannot get the job done,” Messi said. “Today in the first half they were better than we were and it seems we have to fall behind to react like we tried to do in the second half.”

Messi scored his league-leading 23rd goal from a free kick in the second half to cancel Jose Arnaiz’s opener.

Barcelona got an advantage when the visitors lost substitute Enric Gallego to a straight red card for bloodying the mouth of Clement Lenglet with an elbow to the face. But Osasuna’s Roberto Torres scored in stoppage time with Barcelona pushing forward searching for a late goal.

“I said it some time ago, that playing like this we had no chance of winning the Champions League, and it turns out we didn’t even have enough to win the La Liga,” Messi said. “We need to take a breather, let some air in, and clean out minds of all that has happened since December.”

Updated: July 17, 2020 10:59 AM

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