11 December 2012
Liverpool versus Messi: The Battle for 2012
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Messi, Messi, Messi. He broke Gerd Müller's three-century-old record for goals scored in a calendar year! He's scored 86 goals since January!
In the great Liverpool versus Messi battle of 2012, Liverpool are narrowly on top with less than three weeks to go.
Messi may have 86 goals for Barcelona and Argentina. Liverpool have scored 88 goals. Therefore, Liverpool are better. Quod erat demonstrandum.
Messi sneakily took the lead after Liverpool's awesome second half of 2011-12 (remember that?!) by playing matches into late May and June, because he's a sneaky non-Englishman, and then by starting the season in good form, unlike wholesome, honest sides such as Liverpool. The scoundrel. But the Reds are back on top, thanks to scoring five in those ever-so-impressive wins against Young Boys and Norwich, where they'll assuredly stay forever and ever and ever. It's not like Messi scored five in a single European match or anything (*obstinately refuses to check veracity of that statement*).
Messi won one trophy: the Copa del Rey. Liverpool won one trophy: the Carling Cup. So their years were pretty much completely even. Fair dos, Lionel.
For some reason, Messi's goals for both Barcelona and Argentina count. Liverpool didn't even need any international fixtures to surpass Messi's total.
Not to mention that Messi needed 66 games to reach this mark. Liverpool have done it in ten fewer fixtures. Another point in Liverpool's column.
Liverpool were held scoreless in just 13 of its 56 matches. Messi was held scoreless in 22. A whole third of his matches. How embarrassing. Three times, Messi went three consecutive matches without scoring a single goal. Liverpool's haven't been held to successive matches without scoring once, let alone three times.
The defense rests. Nice try, Lionel. Maybe next year.
Adding club friendlies into the mix wouldn't change Liverpool's margin of victory. Liverpool scored five goals in four summer friendlies, Messi scored five goals in four summer friendlies.
Barcelona has three more matches before the end of year. Barring injury or other Act of God, Messi will almost assuredly play in two of the three: the league matches against Atletico Madrid and Real Valladolid. Having not featured in either leg of the last round, there's a good chance he's left out of tomorrow's Copa Del Rey match against second division Cordoba. Although I wouldn't put it past Barcelona to try to pad his total, the cheaters.
Liverpool, on the other hand, have four fixtures left in December: league matches against Villa, Fulham, Stoke, and QPR. Chances are, they actually play football in all four of them *fingers crossed*. Granted, we've seen winter postponements before, but it seems unlikely. Unless the FA conspire with Mother Nature to screw Liverpool. Again. And despite having to play Stoke, where it'll probably take an Act of God for either team to score, Liverpool should be able to hold its advantage over Messi.1
What's that? How dare I compare a club to a single player? Why don't I see how many goals Liverpool have scored relative to Barcelona?
Quiet you. You're not helping.
P.S. In all seriousness, check out this awesome Messi v Müller infographic from FourFourTwo for more stats on Messi's amazing year.
1) This disclaimer absolves me of all responsibility for when Liverpool fail to score in these matches because we all know I have a tendency to jinx things.