Lionel Messi has been left badly bruised and will need to be examined by Barcelona’s doctors after clashing with Manchester United’s Chris Smalling. Barcelona won the Champions League quarter-final first-leg 1-0 at Old Trafford courtesy of a Luke Shaw own goal, but had to do it without Messi at his best.
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Barca boss Ernesto Valverde felt their star man was shaken after the first-half incident that left him on the ground for several minutes with a bleeding nose after being clattered by Smalling. The injury is nothing serious but Valverde says he has been left bruised and an examination will be needed to determine the full extent of the damage.
“It’s clear that he was not more comfortable playing after that,” Valverde said. “He took a big blow and he will have to be examined by the doctors. We will have to see how Messi is, but he has a big bruise.” Meanwhile, despite leading 1-0, Valverde is taking nothing for granted ahead of the second leg. Valverde said: “There’s a second game to come and we know what they are capable of away from home, having seen what they did against PSG.”