Saturday, 24 February 2018

Barcelona suffer double injury scare ahead of Champions League second leg tie against Chelsea


Barcelona have suffered a double injury scare ahead of their upcoming Champions League second leg tie against Chelsea.

Following the 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday night, the Catalan giants were back in action just three days later as they welcomed Girona to the Camp Nou in an important game in their attempts to regain the La Liga title from Real Madrid.

The hosts suffered a nightmare start to the game as they were one down after only three minutes as Portu took full advantage of a rare mistake from Samuel Umtiti to find the back of the net with a crisp finish from an rather acute angle.

However, that goal simply served to shake Barca into action and they were level moments later as Lionel Messi teed up Luis Suarez for the equaliser and it was roles reversed on the half hour mark as the Argentine gave the home side the lead.

More goals – including Suarez getting his hat-trick and a wonder strike from ex-Liverpool midfielder Philippe Coutinho – followed in the second half as Barca cruised to a 6-1 victory, but there were a couple of negative points about the display.

Gerard Pique, who was playing despite heavy strapping on his knee, went down in the second half and looked to be in serious pain. After receiving treatment the Spaniard attempted to carry on but eventually had to be replaced by former Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen.

Manager Ernesto Valverde is likely to provide an update on Pique’s fitness during his post-match press conference and there’s another player who might miss the return clash against the Blues on March 14.

Towards the end of the game, right-back Nelson Semedo – who missed the game at Stamford Bridge through suspension – pulled up whilst chasing after the ball with what appears to be a hamstring injury and that is likely to place his availability in doubt too.

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