Barcelona ensured their best ever start to a Spanish league season thanks to a 2-0 win at Almeria on Saturday, but the victory came at a cost as Lionel Messi was forced off with a thigh injury.
Messi had fired the visitors into a 21st-minute lead with a sensational piece of play as he cut inside two defenders before curling the ball in off the far post from 20 yards.
However, the Argentine had to be replaced six minutes later due to a hamstring problem that puts his participation in Barca’s Champions League trip to Celtic on Tuesday in doubt.Messi will undergo tests on Sunday to discover the exact extent of the injury.
Despite looking far from their fluent best without the World Player of the Year, Barca doubled their advantage when Adriano prodded home Cesc Fabregas’ cross early in the second-half and comfortably saw the game out.
“Leo apparently has a muscular problem in his right leg which he suffered when scoring the goal. More than that, it is difficult to say until they do the tests,” said Barca boss Gerardo Martino.
The champions have now won their first seven league games for the first time in their history and 12 league games in a row stretching back to the end of last season. However, Martino was quick to give the credit for the record-breaking start under his tutelage to the players.
“These boys have broken many indivudual and collective records over the past few years before I got here,” he said.