4 August 2016
Nigeria’s Super Eagles vice-captain and Leicester City’s record signing, Ahmed Musa, proved his worth with a return of two goals in the 2 – 4 loss to Barcelona in the International Champions Cup on Wednesday.
Having become the English Premier League (EPL) champion’s most expensive player in history with the £16m paid to CSKA Moscow to lure him away from the Russian side, many have been meaning to see if the transfer was a good investment for Leicester.
Musa’s scintillating performance against Barcelona, one of the best clubs in the world at the moment, seemed like signs the 23 years old Nigerian is up for the demand that comes with the huge price tag on him.
Though it took Musa three matches to get his first goal for Leicester, despite giving good account of himself in the previous two, when the first goal came, it came in style against arguably the best team in the world.
Leicester went three goals down in the first half despite fielding a strong team made up of Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez, the best striking partnership in the EPL last season. Even with the sought-after duo, Leicester could only muster few chances in the half.
Munir El Haddadi gave Barcelona the lead in the 26th minute from a splitting pass played by Lionel Messi through Leicester’s defence that looked nervous up till that time.
Less than 10 minutes later, Luis Suarez made it two for Barcelona after taking down another Messi pass in the six- yard box and dribbled past two Leicester defenders before striking the ball high into the net through the near post.
Barcelona were not done with Leicester in the first half even at two goals up as Munir scored his second of the match from a cross field pass from Suarez in the 45th minute.
With the match looking all but lost for Leicester, Musa was brought on at half time and it took him less than two minutes to make his presence felt with a solo goal in the 47th minute.
Musa took a side-footed pass from his strike partner, Okazaki in the center-circle and ran with pace at Barcelona’s defence leaving two defenders for dead in his wake as he coolly slot the ball past the advancing goalkeeper.
In the 65th Musa struck again, giving his team a glimmer of hope of getting something out of the match but that wouldn’t happen as Barcelona added their fourth in the 84th minute.
This sort of result against the kind of top sides Leicester will be facing in the Champions League come the new season, may not bring hope to club supporters, but the kind of performance put up by Musa sure brings hope to them.