Barcelona’s faltering start to the season was thrown into further chaos as the Catalan giants lost central defensive talisman Gerard Pique to injury in the 1-0 defeat to Atletico Madrid.
The incident occurred when Angel Correa fell on Pique after a challenge from Jordi Alba. Looking in pain, Pique was helped off the pitch and replaced by Sergino Dest.
Barca also suffered another injury concern as right-back Sergio Roberto went down with a thigh problem.
The Spanish side now have serious problems in central defence and also at full-back. It’s something Liverpool fans will relate to after their crisis. Joe Gomez and Virgil van Dijk have long-term injuries and Trent Alexander-Arnold is also out.
According to Catalan newspaper Sport (via the Metro), the early message from the Barcelona camp is that Pique has suffered a ‘serious’ knee injury.
There is speculation that he could be sidelined for between four and six months.
Barca head coach Ronald Koeman said later: “I am worried about the injuries of Piqué and Sergi Roberto.
“We look forward to seeing the results tomorrow, to know how long they will be out for.”
Defeat leaves Barcelona 10th in table
The defeat in the Wanda Metropolitano gives Koeman an unwanted distinction. He’s the first Barcelona boss to lose to Diego Simeone in La Liga.
Yannick Carrasco netted the winner in first-half stoppage half-time. The victory lifted Atletico to joint-top on 20 points, nine ahead of Barca.
Koeman was unhappy with his team’s defending for the goal.
He lamented: “For a big team, conceding a goal like this. It can’t be, because it’s the 47th minute, we had the ball and then they score, 1-0.
“We controlled and we knew that it was difficult to create many chances.
“We had a pair and with the score 0-0, the game would have been totally different.
“Like any coach, I am responsible for the team’s results.”
Barcelona return to action in the Champions League on Wednesday. They travel to Turkish side Ferencvaros.
Europe has been kinder to them so far this season. Barca have won all three group matches.