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Lionel Messi: Withdrawn at half-time

Lionel Messi: Withdrawn at half-time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

T

ypical Bodgers, in desperate need of a defensive midfielder and go for a floaty number 10 type midfielder. BODGERS OUT.

uncle monty
The Home Gossip

B

enteke is an absolute steal for £32.5m, he would get into any team in the world (except Barcelona) at the moment. I've seen many very good strikers in my 30+ years as a Villa fan. This guy is the best without question.

sparkigol
Benteke's £32.5m release clause

A

ll he wants are sharks with frickin lazers on their heads. Is that too much to ask?

mufc phil
Bomb threat on FIFA D-day

Footer 365

Inverness 2-1 Falkirk: James Vincent the matchwinner Caley leave it late to clinch Scottish Cup

Inverness Caley won the Scottish Cup for the first time with a dramatic 2-1 victory over spirited Falkirk at Hampden.

Greg Dyke continues attack on FIFA and president Sepp Blatter

FA chairman Greg Dyke is not convinced the 2022 World Cup will be hosted by Qatar as he expects more scandals to come out of FIFA.

Radamel Falcao in transfer talks with Chelsea

Monaco striker Radamel Falcao is speaking to Chelsea about a possible transfer, Sky sources understand.

Mail Box

Players Must Stand Up For Qatar Boycott

Players, not bureaucrats, hold the key to boycotting Qatar. Also in the afternoon mailbox: Wenger is right to rotate, Zlatan can dribble, and it's Barca v Ajax in the budget final...

What Would You Do If You Were Blatter?

Step into Sepp's shoes, is the invitation from one mailboxer. Also: United already have their new number one, Rodgers deserves time, and the best Budget XI so far...

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