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Lionel Messi: Withdrawn at half-time

Lionel Messi: Withdrawn at half-time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

H

e doesn't need a caoch. He needs a bus. A bloody big one, that he can park across the goal line. And when he gets one, he can do us a favour and let us know where we can buy one from as well.

HarryBoulton
Rodgers: No defence coach

Y

ou are wrong Per, thats the right way the play. Its everyone elses' fault that it doesnt work.

delboy
Mertesacker urges style change

A

s it's panto season coming soon, let me be the first Oh yes you do

munchie
Rodgers: No defence coach

Footer 365

Transfer news: Football League clubs chasing Aldershot Town's Jordan Roberts

Several Football League clubs are tracking Aldershot Town and England C international Jordan Roberts.

Contract news: France midfielder Paul Pogba signs new improved deal at Juventus

Paul Pogba has signed a new contract with Juventus until 2019 which will reportedly triple his wages.

Premier League: Arsenal injury concerns deepen as Laurent Koscielny ruled out indefinitely

Arsene Wenger has ruled out key Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny for another four weeks - at least.

Mail Box

Does David De Gea Need Competition?

It would certainly be a good idea to give Victor Valdes a contract, while we have more mails on Brendan Rodgers, Arsene Wenger, the rabona and mailbox gripes...

Dropping Jack And Pity For Poor Alexis...

We have lots more mails about Liverpool (is Brendan the naked emperor?) and Arsenal. One reader feels sorry for Alexis Sanchez while one wants Wilshere dropped...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property