Lionel Messi is a doubt for Wednesday’s Copa del Rey Clasico semi-final at home to Real Madrid after sustaining a thigh injury in the 2-2 draw with Valencia.
The Argentina international scored twice, once from the penalty spot, as the hosts came from 2-0 down to earn a point and extend their lead at the top of LaLiga to six points.
Messi took his tally to 11 in the last nine matches in all competitions, passing 20 league goals for the 11th successive season.
However, it was not without cost as he needed treatment for what appeared to be a dead leg shortly after equalising and coach Ernesto Valverde does not know if he will recover in time for Wednesday’s first leg against their arch-rivals.
“(Messi) has a small problem. I can’t say exactly what problem he has, I don’t know,” he told a press conference after the match.
“We will have to wait to see what medical staff say. If he’s in good shape, he’ll play on Wednesday.
“We will wait. I imagine it’s nothing, but we’ll wait a few hours. Leo didn’t ask me to sub him off.”
The draw ended a sequence of eight successive league victories and Valverde admits that after a slow start he did not believe his side deserved to be 2-0 down.
“It was a very strange first part. It is true that Valencia started very well, generating a very clear opportunity, but from that moment on it was us who controlled the game, dominating the areas, creating the feeling that we could score,” he said.
“When we were better we got the 0-1 in a counter-attack and then a second goal was a very severe punishment”.
Valencia coach Marcelino looked on the positive side despite allowing a two-goal lead to slip.
“You can feel disappointed when you are 2-0 up and then draw but that’s not how I feel,” he said.
“The team had an extraordinary game and played spectacularly well but we were unlucky.
“We were close to winning but in the space of two minutes we went from almost being 3-1 up to drawing 2-2.”