Messi hits brace to salvage point for Barcelona

Messi Barcelona 02022019

Messi recieved a blow to the leg off Toni Lato during their 2-2 draw with Valencia on Saturday night and it left his availability up in the air as the muscular discomfort continued after the game and into the next couple of days.

Asked later whether doubt over Messi's participation would affect his side's preparation for the game, Solari smiled and added: "Not at all".

Messi then struck again in the 64th minute, curling in a shot from 20 yards after Arturo Vidal had laid the ball off to him at the top of the penalty area to bring Barca level at 2-2.

"In football, it is good for the best players to play in all games", Solari said. I can't say exactly what problem he has, I don't know. However, he completed Tuesday's session and has been named among the 19 players called up for the first leg of the semifinal tie at Camp Nou.

I imagine it's nothing, but we'll wait a few hours.

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Barcelona forward Ousmane Dembele is unlikely to be fit for the game, as he is still recovering from a hamstring injury.

'I'm not in favour of taking risks with so many games coming up, if the season finished tomorrow, it would be another matter. The next two will come back-to-back, with the second leg of the Copa del Rey scheduled for February 27 before a La Liga fixture on 2 March, both at the Santiago Bernabeu.

"We put in a massive effort, it's not easy to play against Valencia who were feeling more confident after their recent results".

The last time one of the Clasico clubs did not win the competition was in 2012-13 when Atletico Madrid beat city rivals Real, while the last time one of the two giants did not participate in the final was during the 2009-10 season when Sevilla lifted the trophy.

But Barcelona face a crucial test as they will play against Real Madrid three times in the span of a month amidst their Champions League fixtures.

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