Lionel Messi suffers fractured arm; Barcelona confirm he will be out for approximately three weeks
By Ben Grounds
Last Updated: 20/10/18 10:38pm
Barcelona ended a run of four La Liga games without a win but their 4-2 victory over Sevilla was overshadowed by an injury to Lionel Messi at the Nou Camp.
Ernesto Valverde’s side were already 2-0 up thanks to goals from Philippe Coutinho (2) and Messi (12) when the Argentine fractured the radius in his right arm – an injury which will keep him out for three weeks and see him miss next Sunday’s El Clasico.
Luis Suarez stretched Barcelona’s lead from the penalty spot (63) before Pablo Sarabia’s deflected shot reduced the deficit.
Ivan Rakitic produced superb volley with two minutes remaining and there was still time for Luis Muriel to curl in Sevilla’s second in the first minute of stoppage time.
Barcelona beat Sevilla when the two sides met in the Spanish Super Cup back in August, and they made the perfect when Coutinho took Messi’s ball and curled a trademark shot past Tomas Vaclik into the top corner.
Messi doubled the hosts’ lead when he collected Suarez’s pass and cut inside Sergi Gomez and found the bottom corner – but he was soon withdrawn and will now miss the forthcoming Champions League game against Inter Milan, as well as the Clasico next Sunday against Real Madrid.
He was involved in a challenge with Franco Vazquez in the 17th minute and was replaced by Ousmane Dembele shortly after landing awkwardly.
The incident appeared to take the sting out of Barcelona’s bright start, and Sevilla were denied a great chance of halving the arrears when Marc-Andre ter Stegen produced a world-class double-save on the hour-mark to deny Andre Silva and Vazquez.
Three minutes later, Barcelona were handed the chance to stretch their lead when Vaclik swept the feet of Suarez inside the box, and the Uruguayan sent the Sevilla ‘keeper the wrong way with his spot-kick.
Sevilla continued to probe and were rewarded when Sarabia’s shot deflected off Clement Lenglet and flew beyond the stranded Ter Stegen, and the German then denied Sarabia a second before keeping out Ben Yedder on the rebound.
The scoreline flattered Barcelona when Dembele’s blocked shot resulted in a superb volley into the bottom corner from Rakitic but Muriel ensured a degree of respectability with a fine finish of his own in the closing stages.
Man of the match – Marc-Andre ter Stegen
It’s not often a side scores four goals and their goalkeeper receives most of the plaudits, but Ter Stegen showed precisely why he’s being mooted for the No 1 jersey with Germany.
The 26-year-old had arguably his finest game in a Barcelona shirt as he produced two stunning double saves, first denying Andre Silva and Franco Vazquez with the score at 2-0.
He eclipsed that remarkable display of sharp reflexes by repeating the feat to deny Sevilla from making it 3-2 as Pablo Sarabia and Ben Yedder were both thwarted by Barcelona’s in-form stopper.
Barcelona face Inter Milan in the Champions League on Wednesday, before the first Clasico of the season against Real Madrid next Sunday.
Sevilla host Turkish side Akhisar in the Europa League on Thursday before hosting Huesca next Sunday in La Liga.