Messi hurt in Barca draw with Atletico, Madrid miss record
By Joseph Wilson ,AP
September 23, 2016, 12:05 am TWN
BARCELONA -- Barcelona lost Lionel Messi to injury and a chance to beat a title rival on Wednesday, when it was held to a 1-1 draw by Atletico Madrid in the Spanish league.
Messi gingerly walked off the Camp Nou pitch in the 58th minute, moments before Atletico substitutes Angel Correa and Fernando Torres linked up to equalize.
The defending champions said Messi will be sidelined for three weeks with a groin strain.
"With Leo Messi out, football loses, we all lose," Barcelona coach Luis Enrique said. "We now have to look for different solutions. Of course we are stronger with Messi, but we are still strong enough."
The night couldn't have started better for Barcelona, after seeing Real Madrid's hopes of breaking its Spanish league record for consecutive wins dashed by a 1-1 draw with Villarreal.
But the match quickly changed course when Messi came up lame following a sprint to fight for a ball with Diego Godin.
The Argentina star grimaced as he touched his right thigh. After walking gingerly for a few minutes, he sat on the turf, pulled out his shin guards and unlaced his boots.
Real Madrid 1, Villarreal 1
Real Madrid was aiming to break Barcelona's league record of 16 straight wins set in 2010-11.
Sergio Ramos featured in both goals at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium. The Madrid defender helped Villarreal go in front in the first-half stoppage time when he blocked Manuel Trigueros' shot with his arm, setting up Bruno Soriano to score the penalty.
Ramos made amends three minutes after the restart when he leapt higher than two defenders to head Madrid level.
Iago Aspas' penalty three minutes from time secured Celta Vigo its first win of the season as it edged Sporting Gijon 2-1.
Real Sociedad's William Jose scored twice against his ex-team in a 4-1 win over Las Palmas.
Athletic Bilbao also kept Granada winless with a 2-1 victory from goals by Raul Garcia and Aymeric Laporte.