Wednesday 7 December 2016

Messi injury to keep star out of action for at least six weeks

Jamie Holland

Published 28/09/2015 | 02:30

FC Barcelona's Lionel Messi faces at least six to eight weeks on the sidelines
FC Barcelona's Lionel Messi faces at least six to eight weeks on the sidelines

Lionel Messi faces at least six to eight weeks on the sidelines after suffering a tear in the medial collateral ligament of his left knee, according to Barcelona officials.

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The Argentina ace limped out of Barca's 2-1 home win against Las Palmas after 10 minutes but manager Luis Enrique has stressed their need to accept the challenging times ahead without their star player.

"I'm always sad when one of my players gets injured, and even more when it's Messi,'' Enrique said.

"But we need to accept the challenge and understand that this is part of football and get through it.

"We will not change our style of play without Messi, although there are many moments in games in which Messi liberates us and finds solutions.

"So we'll have to strengthen in other areas and the team will have to step up without him.''

Barca won the game thanks to goals from Luis Suarez in each half, while Jonathan Viera's late deflected goal made for a nervy finish for the Catalans, but they hung on for all three points.

Messi's bid for another Ballon d'Or may come a cropper as a result but his contemporary Cristiano Ronaldo also suffered a frustrating night as Real Madrid stuttered to a 0-0 draw with 10-man Malaga.

Despite incessant pressure, they were unable to hit the net and this was the third successive game the Portugal ace was off the scoresheet.

Elsewhere, Juventus' poor start to the Serie A continued as they lost 2-1 away to Napoli and last year's beaten Champions League finalists now lie in 15th place with just five points from their opening six games.

Reigning Greek champions Olympiakos warmed up for Tuesday night's visit to the Emirates with a convincing 5-1 at home to Giannina while Porto prepared for Jose Mourinho's return with a 2-2 draw away to Moreirense.

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