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Messi misses training but Dembele returns after injury

Messi misses training but Dembele returns after injury

Lionel Messi did not attend training for Barcelona on Monday morning after suffering an injury against Valencia at the weekend.

The Argentine picked up a knock against Valencia in the 2-2 draw and is a slight doubt for the Copa del Rey semi-final with Real Madrid on Wednesday.

French attacker Ousmane Dembele did return, however, after recocering from an injury and tonsilitis, but it is not yet known if he will make an appearance in El Clasico.

Ernesto Valverde chose to make a few changes to his starting eleven and that included leaving Jordi Alba on the bench, whilst Sergio Busquets was missing.

Los Che started the game superbly well and tested Barca’s defence, which included Thomas Vermaelen and it was the visitors who opened the scoring when Rodrigo Moreno broke on the counter attack and played in his strike partner – Kevin Gameiro, who finished well.

Barca then pressed for an equaliser, but it was the visitors who scored the second goal of the game when Sergi Roberto hauled down Denis Cheryshev and Dani Parejo scored a superb spot kick past Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

Valverde’s men then pushed for a goal before the break and it came when Nelson Semedo was fouled in the area and Lionel Messi was on hand to score past Neto.

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Neto then proved vital for the visitors, denying Philippe Coutinho and Messi on several occasions but it could do nothing to stop the latter from getting an equaliser in the second half.

The game stayed that way until the final whistle though as Valencia stayed strong and held on to an impressive point.