Barcelona’s return to winning ways marred by Lionel Messi injury worry

The Guardian Sports 1 month ago

Barcelona bounced back from Saturday’s shock defeat to Granada with a 2-1 home win over Villarreal to move up to fourth in the La Liga table, but their night was marred by Lionel Messi going off injured.

Messi, making his first start this season, received lengthy treatment before being replaced at half-time by Ousmane Dembélé in what coach Ernesto Valverde insisted was a precautionary measure.

Valverde said of Messi, who was named Fifa’s male player of the year on Monday: “He noticed a little bit of an issue with his adductor and we preferred for him not to stay on the pitch, but it was just a precaution. I don’t think it’s any more than just a niggle but we’ll need to wait for tomorrow to confirm.”

Antoine Griezmann and Arthur got the first-half goals at the Camp Nou as Barcelona moved to within a point of top trio Granada, Athletic Bilbao and Real Madrid. Former Arsenal midfielder Santi Cazorla pulled a goal back for Villarreal just before half-time.

Barcelona claimed the lead after just 10 minutes as Griezmann applied a deft flick to Messi’s near-post corner to guide the ball over Villarreal goalkeeper Sergio Asenjo and into the net.

The home side doubled their lead five minutes later as midfielder Arthur beat Asenjo once more with a shot from 25 yards out that flew into the top corner. The Brazilian was given space as the Villarreal defenders stood off him and he took his chance with a fine finish.

Cazorla reduced the deficit a minute before the break with a fine long-range effort of his own that eluded Marc-André ter Stegen in the Barça goal.

Barcelona’s Antoine Griezmann opens the scoring against Villarreal. Photograph: Albert Gea/Reuters

Teenager Ansu Fati replaced Luis Suérez with 12 minutes to go but was given offside as he finished off an early opening. Shortly after the 16-year-old fired just wide as Barcelona hunted a third goal.

Gerard Pique saw his late free-kick from the edge of the area kept out by Asenjo and Griezmann also shot over the bar late on but Barcelona had already done enough to secure the victory.

Valverde added: “We are playing well at home, but I think with the injury to Leo everyone was stopped in their tracks a little bit. I think we’re very much on the right track at home, though.”


Source link
Read also:
Express › Sports › 1 month ago
Lionel Messi could make his return from injury when Barcelona face Inter Milan at the Nou Camp tonight (8pm BST), although the Argentine is unlikely to start the Champions League Group F clash.
Business Insider › Sports › 1 month ago
Lionel Messi says he wanted to leave FC Barcelona in 2013-2014 after being "mistreated" during a tax fraud investigation by Spanish officials. Messi and his father were found guilty of defrauding the Spanish government in 2016, and were both handed 21...
Business Insider › Sports › 3 weeks ago
The man who helped Barcelona discover Lionel Messi says he signed him on a paper napkin at just 12 years old because he was too good to let go. Messi and his father, Jorge, were close to deciding against Barcelona in favour of Real Madrid when...
The Sun › Sports › 22 hours ago
NOEL FIELDING has joked that Lionel Messi has a tattoo of him on his back after spotting inking on Barcelona star’s back that resembles him from a distance. Argentine legend Messi has slowly added to his extensive collection of body-art over his...
The Sun › Sports › 1 week ago
BARCELONA fans claim to have found “proof” that Lionel Messi does not trust team-mate Antoine Griezmann. A video of Messi hitting the bar in last night’s 0-0 draw against Slavia Prague has been shared widely. Does this prove that Messi hates...
Forbes › Finance › 3 days ago
Thanks to Lionel Messi’s mastery and set piece hat trick, FC Barcelona headed back to the top of La Liga with a 4-1 win over Celta Vigo. Here’s what we learned during the tie.
Forbes › Finance › 1 day ago
Hours before his dead ball hat trick, FC Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu revealed plans to offer Lionel Messi an 'indefinite' contract and said that preparations for the post-Messi era have begun. But what, exactly, does this entail? Or what should...
Evening Standard › Sports › 1 month ago
Lionel Messi says he feared Neymar would end up signing for Barcelona's fierce rivals Real Madrid in the summer if a return to Camp Nou failed to materialise.
Express › Sports › 1 month ago
Lionel Messi has played down any talk of unrest in the Barcelona dressing room, after helping his Barcelona side beat Inter Milan.
The Sun › Sports › 1 month ago
LIONEL MESSI revealed he “wanted to leave Spain” after his tax fraud hell and feared playing against English defences. In an honest interview with RAC1 in Spain, the Barcelona captain was quizzed on his future in Barcelona, family and some of his...
Sign In

Sign in to follow sources and tags you love, and get personalized stories.

Continue with Google
OR