Sports

Barcelona sweat on injuries for Samuel Umtiti and Andres Iniesta

Barcelona sweat on injuries for Samuel Umtiti and Andres Iniesta

In doubly bad luck for Barca, when the French worldwide pulled up 20 minutes from time, Iago Aspas sprinted in behind the Barca defence and teed up Maxi Gomez to hand Celta a share of the points.

Barcelona central defender Samuel Umtiti will be sidelined for about two months because of a right hamstring injury.

"It was a series of unfortunate incidents in the one move", lamented Barca boss Ernesto Valverde.

"That was the way the game was and Celta are a good side and had the ability to equalise".

"It is a problem to lose an important player like Samuel, who was in great form".

The centre-back is therefore set to miss at least all of Barca's games before the winter break, which include a Champions League clash with Sporting CP as well as league meetings with Villarreal, Deportivo La Coruna and Madrid on December 23.

However, Valverde is more optimistic that his absence won't be a prolonged one.

Barcelona had played with a 4-3-3 formation under Luis Enrique but have since switched to Valverde's preferred 4-4-2.

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He told reporters: "It was a very close game, they started well, it was hard for us to get into the match, due to their goal we were very sharp, that's where the draw came from, we became the dominators of the game".

"(Iniesta) asked for the change.

"We showed more, we went for the game more and we were more intense, but football is like this", added Busquets.

Griezmann scored Atletico's much-needed victor by tapping the ball into the net after Saul Niguez's header went across the goalmouth toward the far post, where the France striker awaited to score his fourth goal in his last three games with Atletico.

Barcelona, at the sound of the final whistle, were left to rue an effort from Lionel Messi that hit a post and a goal scored by Luis Suarez that was, very harshly, ruled out for offside.

Barcelona has a five-point lead over second-place Valencia, which plays at mid-table Getafe on Sunday.

Atletico and Real Madrid, who both play on Saturday, are another four points behind.


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