Barcelona beaten

BARCELONA rested all 11 players that started against Liverpool in the Champions League but paid the price on Saturday as they were beaten 2-0 by struggling Celta Vigo in La Liga.

Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Philippe Coutinho were all among those left out ahead of the return at Anfield on Tuesday but Barca were not unscathed, after Ousmane Dembele hobbled off early in the first half.

The club later confirmed Dembele sustained a hamstring injury and will undergo tests on Sunday but it seems unlikely the Frenchman will be fit to face Liverpool in the semifinal second leg.

Dembele missed almost four months with a hamstring strain last season and suffered from problems in the same area in January and March, sitting out for another month each time.

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“We think it’s a muscle tear,” said Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde. “It is not from fatigue – he didn’t play much against Liverpool – and it is not the same leg as last time. It’s just one of those things.”

Defeat will hardly trouble Barcelona, who wrapped up their 26th La Liga title last weekend, but victory comes as a major boost for Celta, who move five points clear of the bottom three with two games left to play. – AFP

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