Lionel Messi trained with Barcelona on Sunday and it was pretty clear to see the Argentine had scars on his leg following Friday’s clash with Sevilla.
The Catalan giants drew 0-0 at the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium in a result that was a blow to their hopes of retaining their La Liga title. They extended their lead to three points but will lose top spot if Real Madrid beat Real Sociedad on Sunday.
One of the main talking points from the match was a clash between Messi and Sevilla center-back Diego Carlos. The 27-year-old put in a strong challenge on the Barcelona captain that made front-page news in Spain:
Messi responded angrily to the challenge by shoving the defender and was fortunate to escape punishment from match referee Gonzalez Gonzalez:
There was some debate after the match about how much contact Carlos had actually made on Messi and whether the image of the tackle was misleading.
However, ESPN’s Moisés Llorens is pretty sure the scars on Messi’s leg were from his clash with Carlos.
Messi Still Chasing 700th Goal
Friday turned out to be a disappointing night for Barcelona and Messi. The 32-year-old went into the game hoping to score the 700th goal of his career but could not find the back of the net.
Sevilla did have to get creative to find a way of preventing the Barcelona captain adding to his tally of 21 La Liga goals for the season so far:
Defender Gerard Pique spoke after the match and was in pessimistic mood. He said the defending champions will find it hard to win La Liga now.
“It will be very difficult to win this league, because it does not depend on us. I see it difficult for Real Madrid to lose points, seeing how these two days have gone, it will be difficult.”
Athletic Up Next for Barcelona
Messi will get another chance to try and score his 700th goal on Tuesday against Athletic at the Camp Nou. The Catalans have been beaten by the Basque side twice this season already but have a good record against them at home.
Indeed Athletic has not won at the Camp Nou since November 2001. In their last 17 matches at Barcelona’s home, they have lost 17 and drawn three times. A record that will not fill them full of confidence ahead of Tuesday’s visit.
Messi has started all three of Barcelona’s games since La Liga restarted and is expected to lead his team out again on Tuesday. Quique Setien’s side still has eight games left to play though and Messi may have to be rested at some point.
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