Lionel Messi will be out of action for the next three weeks after aggravating a recurrent groin injury in the match between the Catalans and Atletico Madrid. Barcelona had gone into the break with a 1-0 lead, but Madrid came from behind to hold Barcelona to a 1-1 draw at the Camp Nou on Wednesday.
The day saw leaders Real Madrid, Barcelona, and Atletico in action. Real sat atop the table with four wins off four matches as they looked to continue their record-equalling 16-game La Liga win streak after drawing par with Pep Guardiola's Barcelona of 2010/11. However, that came to an end yesterday when they drew 1-1 against Villarreal at the Santiago Bernabeu.
The duel between Barca and Atletico at the Camp Nou saw the hosts go ahead thanks to an Ivan Rakitic header just before half-time. However, the game reserved more action for the later parts – Lionel Messi was forced to leave the game limping in the 59th minute and two minutes later, Angel Correa scored one for the visitors on the back of an error from Mascherano.
The day saw the top of the table remain unchanged as Real Madrid sit atop, followed by Sevilla, while Barcelona and Atletico form the next two. However, the loss of its talisman could prove to be more trouble for the defending champions.
"Leo Messi has torn the groin muscle in his right leg. He will be out of action for approximately three weeks," Barcelona officials said in a statement.
"To lose Lionel Messi means football loses and we lose," said Barca boss Luis Enrique.
Now we have to look for other solutions. With Leo we are much stronger, but without him we are still a strong team.
Atletico custodian Jan Oblak stood tall to refuse Barca of its chances, one from Messi as well, but the champions were put ahead by Rakitic's header. Messi's replacement on the field, Arda Turan, spent his half hour on the field without contributing much to the team's chances.
The five-time World Player of the Year will miss three games of La Liga and Champions league as well as Argentina's World Cup qualifiers against Peru and Paraguay.
Messi had earlier missed international duty soon after his return to the national squad with the same injury.