Jordi Alba set to miss 10 days of action through injury; Lionel Messi picks up a minor strain as well
Luis Enrique made it clear that Messi's substitution was just a precaution and that he will not miss any matches because of the injury
Barcelona ace Lionel Messi has picked up a ‘small strain’ during Barcelona's La Liga clash against Athletic Bilbao. Whereas, on the other hand, Jordi Alba suffered a hamstring injury during the match and has been ruled out for 10 days.
The Argentine talisman scored Barca’s first goal from a penalty in the seventh minute. In the 46th minute, Messi was taken off the field with a right hamstring strain and Arda Turan was brought on for him.
However, according to Luis Enrique, the Argentine star will be available on Wednesday when the Blaugrana travel to Bilbao for their Copa del Rey quarter-final first-leg clash.
"Messi will have tests tomorrow, he has a small strain and had a little discomfort so we preferred not to take any risks,” Luis Enrique said during the press conference.
"We spoke about it at half-time and with the scoreline as it was we did not want to take risks. I don't like taking risks with any player, so imagine what it's like with Messi."
Alba was taken off at the 69th minute and Barcelona’s official website later confirmed that Jordi Alba will be out for 10 days.
Moreno’s sending off shaped the outcome of the match
Referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz showed the Bilbao goalkeeper Gorka Iraizoz Moreno a red card in the 5th minute of the match because he tripped Luis Suarez. Enrique is of the opinion that the decision to give Moreno the marching orders shaped the outcome of the match. Suarez went on to score a hat-trick and goals from Neymar and Ivan Rakitic ensured a thumping 6-0 victory for the Catalan club.
"The incident changed the game completely and the tactical plans we had went out the window. It was a comfortable game for us but we still needed to work hard and stay in our positions.
"It was much easier for us obviously but we still had to do our job, we were only 2-0 up at half-time. We had to finish them off after the break and we did that," Enrique said.
Bilbao’s coach Ernesto Valverde admitted that he thinks that the decision was justified but it was a harsh one nonetheless.
Valverde said, "It's excessively harsh, even though it's the rule. Being reduced to 10 men after three minutes is very difficult. It's a penalty, but it's excessive.
"Before the penalty we had a great chance to score which we didn't take and then we were up against it. Our only option, with a man down and 90 minutes left, was to try and keep the score tight and see if we could get to the end of the game still with a chance."