Lionel Messi face plants heroically as Barcelona crash out of Champions League
It just wasn’t Lionel Messi’s evening.
The Barcelona maestro and Argentine kingpin threw everything but the kitchen sink at the Juventus defence, but the likes of Leanardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini weren’t in a generous mood.
The Catalans, as a result, crashed out of the Champions League at the quarter-final stage for the second successive season after losing to Atletico Madrid last year.
Messi couldn’t add to his 11 goals in the competition this season, and seemed understandably fazed by a heavy fall in the first half.
The Argentine went up for a header and fell acrobatically towards the ground, colliding with the pitch nastily.
Here’s one angle:
And here’s another:
The incident drew blood from Messi’s cheek and he seemed off colour for the remainder of the game as a result, trying and failing to break down the Juventus rearguard.
Barca subsequently crashed out without scoring past the imperious Gianluigi Buffon in the Old Lady goal and the impregnable duo of Bonucci and Chiellini.
Juve, on the other hand, avenged their defeat in the final to the Catalan giants back in 2015 and went one better than last season’s quarter-final exit at the hands of Bayern Munich.