Leo Messi continued his fine form in the Catalan club’s 4-1 victory on Tuesday with a diving header courtesy of a cross from Neymar which takes his goal tally to 10 in all competitions this season.
The Argentine then provided the assist for central defender Marc Bartra to beat the keeper before Martino hauled him off and was replaced by Sergi Roberto with 9 minutes remaining.
Lionel Messi admitted he was unhappy at being withdrawn, but quashes media suggestions that he deliberately snubbed the Barca coach whilst being taken off.
The 26 year-old Argentine remarked on his official Facebook page:
“I didn’t mean to make any gesture when Martino took me off.”
“Nobody likes to be out, but we must accept it because it is the best for our team. What I will not accept is that certain media tell lies about any situation that happens around me.”
Javier Mascherano had to be replaced by Marc Bartra in the 35th minute suffering a hamstring injury. FC Barcelona has confirmed on their official website that the defender will undergo additional tests on today to determine the extent of his injury.