Messi forced off field with apparent arm injury

Lynette Rowe
October 21, 2018

Messi went down in the first half of Barcelona's match with Sevilla.

He was given medical attention for several minutes on the touchline, with Barca's physios putting a significant amount of strapping around his right elbow. Ousmane Dembele came on for Messi.

Barça's captain was withdrawn 26 minutes into the eventual 4-2 win against Sevilla after falling awkwardly on his arm.

Following the confirmation of Messi's injury ahead of a vital showdown with bitter rivals Real Madrid, it dawned on everyone that next week's El Clasico would be without two protagonists for the first time in 11 years.

Messi's exit comes at the criticial point for Barcelona, who have a Champions League match on Wednesday against Inter Milan and the Clasico against Real Madrid next Sunday.

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And before the quarter of the hour mark he got himself on the scoresheet to double Barca's lead.

Pablo Sarabia did provide a glimmer of hope with 11 minutes remaining when he's deflected effort found the back of the net to reduce the deficit.

"We will try to make sure Leo's absence is noticed as little as possible", he said afterwards. Barca are arguably more reliant on their talisman than ever before and if he is out for any serious length of time, their title aspirations will be severely dented.

"Ter Stegen is a phenomenon", he beamed.

But he was hurt midway through the first-half in an innocuous-looking challenge with Franco Vazquez. Incredibly, Ter Stegen made another incredible double save in the closing stages to keep out Muriel and Sarabia.

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