Barcelona sweating on Messi

Barcelona are sweating on the fitness of star man Lionel Messi after he limped out of their 2-2 draw with Paris Saint-Germain in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League quarter-final.

Last Updated: 03/04/13 at 09:47 Post Comment

Lionel Messi: Barcelona ace opened the scoring but then limped out of the action

Lionel Messi: Barcelona ace opened the scoring but then limped out of the action

Messi opened the scoring in the 38th minute but spent the final moments of the first half standing motionless by the touchline and was replaced at the interval by Cesc Fabregas.

The Argentina international will undergo a scan on a suspected hamstring injury in his right leg on Wednesday with the return meeting against PSG already on the horizon on April 10.

Defender Javier Mascherano is certain to miss the second leg after he was forced off in the closing stages at the Parc des Princes, with assistant coach Jordi Roura confirming the former Liverpool man is facing several weeks out.

Roura said: "I think it was a typical quarter-final and a good result but we deserved better. It comes at a price because we have lost Messi as well as Mascherano, who will be out for four to six weeks."

Messi's opener was cancelled out by Zlatan Ibrahimovic, with Xavi restoring Barcelona's advantage late on from the spot, only for Blaise Matuidi to snatch a last-gasp leveller.

Fabregas confirmed Messi had been left despondent by the injury, but has backed his team-mate to be back on the field as soon as possible.

"He is down, obviously, because he is injured," Fabregas told Sky Sports News. "He hasn't been injured for many years and has played a lot of football for the last five years, so he is sad obviously.

"I know him very well, so he will just want to recover as soon as possible."

He added: "It was a very good game, they are a very good side and have quality players. It is not a bad result but we scored in the final minute of the game so we expected to win, so we are a little bit sad.

"We play at home (in the second leg) we always have options there. But when you score in the last five or 10 minutes you want to defend well and then from a rebound we conceded so it was unfortunate."

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e have the personnel. The trick is keeping them fit. Carrick and Blind have missed large chunks of the season, while the defence has been one muddled mess of intermittent stooges, all coming and going at various intervals thus far. We may be just short of title winning quality, but we're half way through. An injury crisis to either of the top two could change things. Optimistic, yes, but not unrealistic.

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arish is the man to blame for this shambles. Pulis must be chuckling into his left over turkey sandwich. I pray this doesn't mean the Neil Warnock media machine will kick in now and he'll be back on the telly box.

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e almost found a new way to lose, just when I thought it was getting boring Giroud does that. Although Arsenal are deservedly called 'soft' the entire midfield is out injured. Still must admit MU are managing to win despite a similar raft of absentees. Think the Gunners have good players but poorly coached.

gettalong
Wenger: Giroud deserved red

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