Barcelona may have gone into the halftime break of the preseason El Clásico against Real Madrid with the lead, but they may have suffered two significant losses due to injuries sustained during the opening period.
Center-back Andreas Christensen was the first to leave the pitch in the 28th minute and be replaced by Eric García, and midfielder Ilkay Gündogan was substituted just three minutes before halftime by Sergi Roberto.
In both instances the players felt muscle discomfort, in Gündogan’s case an apparent groin issue while Christensen’s problem still hasn’t been clarified. Injury substitutions during preseason usually come out of an abundance of caution as coaches don’t want to risk anything with their players, but both players have a history of injuries and deserve extra attention.
Christensen is a crucial piece of the defense while Gündogan was the summer’s biggest signing to elevate the team’s midfield and help Barça contend in Europe. A potentially lengthy absence for either or both would be a major blow, so it’s worth monitoring very carefully what is next for the duo.