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Injured Messi forced out of Atletico clash


Barcelona (AFP) – Lionel Messi appeared to suffer the recurrence of a groin strain as he limped off early in the second-half of Barcelona’s crunch La Liga clash with Atletico Madrid on Wednesday.

The five-time World Player of the Year missed Argentina’s World Cup qualifier with Venezuela earlier this month due to the problem and only started Barca’s shock 2-1 defeat to Alaves 10 days ago on the bench as coach Luis Enrique bedded him back into action gently.

Messi’s absence had an immediate impact as Angel Correa scored for Atletico just a minute after his international teammate went off to level the scores at 1-1.

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