On a day when the minnows swam up stream and bit the big fish it was all a reminder that taking a step back from your rooting interests and actually taking in what has been the craziest and most fun group stage in Champions League history is worth while.
He had substituted Messi in their winning match against Las Palmas, last weekend in the 10th minute after the Argentine had to leave the field due to his threatening injury.
However, the club’s sporting director Rudi Voeller claimed he wasn’t pleased to hear Messi will be out of action. “You simply like to watch him play“.
After losing their opening game to Dinamo Zagreb two weeks ago, Arsenal are bottom of Group F, six points behind leaders Bayern Munich, who they have to play twice.
20-year-old Munir looks set to deputise alongside Luis Suarez and Neymar and even though it remains a formidable forward line, there certainly isn’t as much fear factor than one with Messi in it.
“It’s great news for our rival, but for us it’s a test and we have to accept it and overcome it”, Luis Enrique said.
“Leo is mentally strong”, the former Liverpool player said.
Right before leaving the pitch, Chicharito also missed a clear shot that would have put his team ahead by 2-0.
With Roma sent on their way 3-2 by BATE Borisov it left Barca shading Group E.
However, Enrique is confident the 28-year-old will be fit for Barca’s first meeting with Real Madrid this season on November 21 at the Santiago Bernabeu. Luis Enrique said. “I don’t know the medical statement, but he asked to come off for a reason”.
“Time is in his favor”.
Neymar also told reporters after the game that the crowd reaction had not helped Barca’s players – who he admitted had “suffered” at times before coming through in the end. “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO” Twitter user Otro Triplete replied to the news of Messi’s injuries.
We’ll find out soon enough.
“We have important players injured, but that’s football and we have a squad to succeed”.
Without Messi, however, Enrique acknowledged he may temporarily ditch the three-pronged strike force which has served them so well in the last few months, instead getting Neymar into a more central position alongside Luis Suarez.
The youngster had a solid performance for the Catalan side and finished the match with an assist in Suarez’s second goal.
Kampl came on to score the third goal after Swiss forward Admir Mehmedi and Germany Under-21 winger Julian Brandt had netted for the visitors. “I am sure they will cause us a lot of problems”.
Hernandez has completely squandered a wonderful chance for Leverkusen to double their advantage. Meanwhile, Leverkusen makes the trip fresh from a 3-0 victory at Werder Bremen in the Bundesliga Saturday.