Hamstring concern for Messi

Barcelona star Lionel Messi suffered a slight hamstring injury in the first leg of their Super Cup final at Atletico Madrid.

Last Updated: 22/08/13 at 08:19 Post Comment

Lionel Messi: Withdrawn at half-time

Lionel Messi: Withdrawn at half-time

Barcelona coach Gerardo Martino revealed he withdrew Lionel Messi at half-time of the first leg of their Spanish Super Cup final at Atletico Madrid because the Argentinian suffered a slight hamstring injury.

Messi failed to contribute much during his time on the pitch in the game, and was replaced by Cesc Fabregas immediately after the re-start, at which point Atletico led 1-0 thanks to a stunning volley by former Barcelona player David Villa.

Martino's side improved after the break, and levelled after 66 minutes when Neymar headed in a cross from Dani Alves, scoring his first competitive goal for the Catalan club.

Martino took Messi off in the second half of Barcelona's 7-0 win over Levante at the weekend to give the player a rest, but said on this occasion he substituted the forward because he was injured.

He told a press conference: "Messi picked up a knock and when a player has an injury or a knock which impedes them from playing it does not make much sense for them to stay on the pitch."

Martino admitted his side had struggled at the Vicente Calderon, saying: "All of our players found it difficult to find space to receive the ball. We couldn't play between the lines, they kept very tight on us and it was difficult to get past them. They were better in the first half, we were better in the second."

The most controversial moment of the game came midway through the second half when Sergio Busquets brought down David Villa but was not shown what would have been a second yellow card.

However, Martino did not think his midfielder deserved to be sent off.

"I'm not sure, it was a normal foul to me, I'm not convinced it deserved a yellow," he said.

Atletico boss Simeone also refused to criticise referee Alberto Undiano Mallenco for the incident, remarking: "If the referee didn't think it was a yellow card then he was right not to give it."

But Villa was not so sure. He told Television Espanola: "It was a key decision to not give a second yellow card to Busquets, especially because of the amount of yellow cards we received in the first half. He let him off the hook.

"It would have been crucial, because we would have had an extra man while leading 1-0. But referees are human and sometimes they get it wrong."


Sky Bet Free Bet Club: £10 free bet - £5 free every week


Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

M

aybe Hull charged the Liverpool fans more because their massive sense of entitlement takes up more room? Badum tish.

sailingmagpie
Everton team subsidise awayday

T

he John Carver Experiment sounds like the worst jazz fusion band of all time. Which is saying something.

sailingmagpie
The John Carver Experiment: The Next Episode

T

ime to play Liverpool players in their natural positions? I agree, but surely the subs' bench isn't big enough for all of them?

balls-to-monty
The John Carver Experiment: The Next Episode

Footer 365

Jose Mourinho already targeting more success after 'deserved' Chelsea title

Jose Mourinho insisted Chelsea were deserved Premier League champions - and then declared himself hungry for more.

Chelsea 1-0 Crystal Palace: Eden Hazard the hero as Blues secure Premier League title with nervy win

Chelsea secured their first Premier League title in five years after a nervy 1-0 win over Crystal Palace.

Four-time winner Didier Drogba delighted as Chelsea secure title

Legendary Chelsea striker Didier Drogba celebrated his fourth title triumph after Chelsea defeated Crystal Palace 1-0.

Mail Box

Shouldn't We Give Players Time?

Do we really want to throw out the baby with the bathwater every single summer? We also have a Man United fan who wants massive investment. And more...

Liverpool: No Greater Than Aston Villa

It's fair to say that Raúl H. Garcia from the morning mailbox has got something of a kicking on Thursday afternoon. Oh and the Neviller is wrong for once...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company