Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde took off Lionel Messi in the first half due to an adductor problem.
Barcelona were sitting ninth before taking on Villarreal in Nou Camp on Tuesday night. The Blaugrana won the game 2-1, thanks to goals from Antoine Griezmann and Arthur Melo, which weighed too much as Santi Cazorla’s strike proved ineffectual in the result.
The Spanish giants skipper started the game and lasted for more than half an hour before receiving treatment on the sidelines. He pulled off when he had a problem with adductor and carried on until the half-time whistle.
In the post-match interview, Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde revealed that the forward had to be taken off because of little stress and it’s just a precaution.
“When something happens to Messi, everyone stops, not only on the field, but in the stands as well,” he said.
“As a precaution we have decided not to risk it. In theory, it is nothing more but we will see tomorrow how it is.”
Barcelona welcomed back Ousmane Dembele from an injury lay-off. He started from the bench to replace Lionel Messi in the second half.
Luis Suarez also made his comeback, but received heavy criticism for a poor show in front of the home fans. However, Valverde believed it was more down to getting back to his groove after an injury lay-off.
“Luis has been out for a month,” added Valverde. “It’s hard for him to come back. We know what he is going to give us. We have to be with him. He has a wonderful scoring record in this club.”
The win moved Barcelona to the fourth place in the La Liga, a place behind arch-rivals Real Madrid, who are playing Osasuna on Wednesday.
Valverde’s men next travel to Getafe before welcoming Inter Milan to the Nou Camp in the Champions League.