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Lionel Messi substituted at half-time for Barcelona against Villarreal amid injury fears

The GOAT needed treatment in the first half

FC Barcelona v Villarreal CF - La Liga Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Lionel Messi made his first start of the season on Tuesday against Villarreal in La Liga but was taken off at half-time and replaced by Ousmane Dembele.

The Barcelona captain seemed to pick up a thigh problem during the first half, and although he continued until the break he did not come out for the second half.

Hopefully his early substitution is simply a precautionary measure. Messi is only just back from a calf problem suffered in pre-season that has kept him sidelined until now.

Messi picked up his first assist of the season against Villarreal before going off. His corner was headed home by Antoine Griezmann after just six minutes of the clash.

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