Barcelona humbled former manager Pep Guardiola with a 4-0 win against his Manchester City team at Camp Nou. However, the victory wasn’t without any casualties.
The Blaugrana suffered two big injury blows, as neither left-back Jordi Alba or center-half Gerard Pique could make it to half-time in their match against City. Alba was taken off just eight minutes into the match, while Jeremy Mathieu came on to replace Pique shortly before the break.
The official club Twitter account revealed the nature of the two injuries shortly after the game.
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona_cat) October 19, 2016
According to the official club website, “The Club’s medical staff have announced that the centre half has a right ankle sprain whilst the left back has a hamstring problem in his left leg. Both players will have further tests on Thursday to ascertain the exact extent of their injuries.”
The two injuries have handed manager Luis Enrique a major headache. He will now have to turn to two of his summer signings to prove how valuable they are to the team. Alba was replaced by Frenchman Lucas Digne, who is probably the first choice left-back in the Spaniard’s absence.
Pique was replaced by another Frenchman, but Mathieu might not see too much first team action after his poor showing against City. The 32-year-old received two yellow cards and was sent off in the dying minutes of the game.
Barca will be boosted by the return of yet another Frenchman at the heart of defence though. Samuel Umtiti played the full game against Manchester City, after returning from a knee injury that ruled him out for a month.
The former Lyon defender will probably be paired with veteran Argentine defender Javier Mascherano, should the injury to Pique rule him out of action for Barcelona’s next game against Valencia.