Messi's injury spoils Barca's win

Sports Network

, Last Updated: 5:15 PM ET

MADRID -- Lionel Messi scored in the first half but was carried off late with an injury, spoiling Barcelona's 2-1 victory Sunday over Atletico Madrid at the Vicente Calderon in Spain's La Liga.

Messi and Gerard Pique scored in the first half for Barca, but Messi was taken down in the final minutes by Atletico Madrid's Tomas Ujfalusi and remained on the ground with his hands over his face until he was take off on a stretcher.

Ujfalusi received his second yellow card and was ejected after the challenge. Ujfalusi stepped on Messi's foot and the Argentina star appeared to injure his ankle, although the extent of the injury to the 2009 FIFA World Player of the Year was unknown.

Raul Garcia sandwiched Atletico's only goal between Barca's two goals, but the visitors earned just their second road win in the series since 2001-02.

Messi put Barcelona in front 13 minutes into the game after Pedro's perfectly- weighted through ball set up an easy finish from the edge of the six-yard box. Messi flicked the ball with the outside of his left foot past Atletico goalie David De Gea with his first touch for his second goal of the season.

Atletico equalized in the 25th through Garcia, who rose to meet a corner kick from the left and headed into an empty net, as Barca goalie Victor Valdes came off his line to try and reach the pass.

Pique put Barca back in front seven minutes later off a corner kick, as he had a great individual effort at the far post, playing the ball down off his chest before hammering the ball back inside the left post.

David Villa had three good scoring chances in a six-minute run to seal Barca's win, but failed to convert any of them, then Jose Antonio Reyes just missed the tying goal for Atletico when his 18-yard shot curled into the outside of the net.

Messi had a chance to seal the game in the 86th but De Gea made one of his six saves, and Barca survived a deflected shot from Reyes off the counter before a reckless foul by Ujfalusi left Messi injured and Barca's fingers crossed.

Also Sunday, Juan Mata and Pablo scored as 10-man Valencia won 2-1 at Hercules to take over sole possession of first place, Nilmar scored twice as Villarreal won 2-1 at Levante, Henrique and Ariel Nahuelpan scored to lead Racing to a 2-0 win over Real Zaragoza and Alfaro and Martin Caceres scored as Sevilla won 2-1 at Malaga.


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