Published: Mon, February 04, 2019
Sport | By Patty Hardy

Lionel Messi reacted with passion after equalising for Barcelona against Valencia

Lionel Messi reacted with passion after equalising for Barcelona against Valencia

Barcelona talisman, Lionel Messi, is a doubt for Wednesday's Copa del Rey's semi-final against Real Madrid, after sustaining a thigh injury in the 2-2 draw with Valencia on Saturday.

It was a hard-fought point as his team had to come back after being 2-0 down in the first half, thanks to a goal from Kevin Gameiro and a penalty converted by Dani Parejo.

Before his fitness put a damper on a thrilling match, Messi extended his scoring run to nine straight games across all competitions.

The Argentine, though, received treatment for a dead leg after scoring the equaliser and was hobbling after the match.

The coach also played Sergi Roberto at left-back instead of Jordi Alba, who is having a sublime season, and Thomas Vermaelen next to Gerard Pique, resting Clement Lenglet.

"We have to wait until [Sunday] to see how the pain is", Valverde said in his postgame news conference.

Valencia, who began the season in the Champions League but have had a haphazard campaign and are seventh in the standings, looked to be on their way to a third league win in six visits to the Nou Camp after making a flying start.

Valencia had two golden chances to make the breakthrough in the first three minutes, but Parejo saw his close-range effort saved by Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen, before Denis Cheryshev smashed the rebound off the post.

He scored from the penalty spot just before half-time and added his second after the break with a brilliant finish from 20 yards as Barca's eight-game winning streak in La Liga came to an end. "If he's in good shape, he'll play on Wednesday". Fourth-place Sevilla has won only one of its last six league games.

Barca fans have a taste for comebacks and they started the second half with Messi immediately threatening at goal.

Real Sociedad defeated Athletic Bilbao 2-1 to deal its northern Basque Country rival its first defeat since the arrival of coach Gaizka Garitano.

Fifth-placed Getafe were held to a goalless draw at mid-tabled Levante.

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