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Ousmane Dembele replaced the Argentina man, and Barcelona eventually won the game 4-2, but that was where the good news ended for Messi.

He was trying to reclaim the ball when he ran into the back of Sevilla midfielder Franco Vazquez and fell in the 17th minute.

Barcelona confirmed the injury through their website and official social media handles minutes after the match and stated that their captain would be ruled out for at least three weeks.

Messi scored their second goal with a shot from outside the area in the 12th, about 10 minutes after Phillipe Coutinho opened the scoring.

Messi had one deflected wide in the period that followed as chances continued to arrive, and it was not a surprise that the Argentine doubled Barcelona's lead in the 12th minute.

It will be interesting to see how Barcelona fare without him given just how instrumental he is.

Ernesto Valverde has challenged Barcelona to miss the injured Lionel Messi while they are winning without him.

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Ivan Rakitic scored the home side's final goal against his former club in the 88th minute with a first-time volley, only to have Luis Muriel answer for Sevilla in the 91st minute.

With an global break to come in November, the hope is for Messi to return when Atletico Madrid travel to the Camp Nou on November 24.

Valverde will give him freedom, as he does with Messi, deployed in a floating wide left role alongside Philippe Coutinho, and behind Luis Suarez, and the pressure will be on to perform.

Suarez was screaming for a penalty before half-time when he fell under a cynical off-the-ball challenge from Daniel Carrico, but the referee's attention had been on Nelson Samedo, who squandered the opportunity with a terrible shot into the side-netting.

Julen Lopetegui is under intense pressure at the Bernabeu after Madrid's third defeat on the bounce to Levante.

Madrid had practically given up defending its 2016 league title after only three wins in nine matches from October to January.


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