Two unusual events occurred around Lionel Messi on Wednesday night.Firstly,he scored five of Barcelona's seven goals against Bayer Leverkusen and secondly,there wasn't an unseemly fight between his opponents to swap shirts with him at the final whistle.
We don't have a great deal of stats on the latter event,but we should be able to put a ball park figure on the likelihood of the former occurring.
Barca where very short odds to win the second leg on Wednesday,I gave them around an 85% chance of winning the game on the night and that wasn't out of step with most other estimations.They were very likely to outscore their German opponents,but seven goals is usually an ask even for the very best and the chances of Barca scoring exactly seven goals would have been in the region of a 70/1 chance.
If we now move onto Messi.Over the last two seasons he's scored around a third of his club side's goals.So there's around a 30% chance that if Barca score,the scorer is Messi.However,the tie was virtually won for the hosts after the first leg,so there was the real possibility that Messi wouldn't be asked to play for the whole game.So to account for this we should reduce slightly the probability of a Messi goal in this game.We'll make it 25%.
If Barca do manage to score exactly seven goals and Messi is on the pitch while they are scored,there are 42 different combinations in which he could score five of the seven goals.We've decided that the chances of Messi scoring is 0.25,so the chances of someone else scoring one of the goals is 0.75 and with 42 different way for him to achieve 5 from 7 it's around a 40/1 chance that he'll do what he achieved last night.
So 70/1 for seven Barca goals and 40/1 for Messi to get five of them......does that mean he'll have to play at least 3,000 more games before it's likely to happen again :-).