Barcelona win comes at a cost

Thomas Vermaelen Barcelona

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Barcelona secured a 2-1 comeback win over Atletico Madrid on Saturday, but it came at a price as Thomas Vermaelen suffered a calf injury.

The Belgium international sustained a calf strain after 28 minutes and had to be replaced by Jeremy Mathieu. Vermaelen missed almost the entirety of last season after joining the club from Arsenal with a hamstring injury.

The defender’s latest setback has occurred in his other leg but he still faces around three weeks on the sidelines, meaning he will miss the midweek Champions League trip to Roma as Barca begin their European campaign.

Barcelona are 1.62 to beat Roma on Wednesday, while the Italian outfit can be backed at 5.50 and a draw is 4.00.

Atleti had taken the lead through Fernando Torres, but Barcelona hit back with goals from Neymar and Lionel Messi. Los Rojiblancos boss Diego Simeone had no complaints about the result and admitted the Catalan giants deserved the win.

“I think Barcelona dominated every area of the game, whether defending or in possession. We didn’t have a good game,” Simeone told reporters.

“We started the second half well, but the quick equaliser put us off our stride again. Our idea was to try and pressure higher up the pitch, but Barcelona absolutely dominated the game.”

Messi was introduced as a second half substitute and Simeone felt that the Argentine star proved the difference in the final stages.

He added: “Messi was decisive when he was on the pitch. He’s used to deciding matches and he did so again.”

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