An injury to Lionel Messi overshadowed Barcelona’s 2-1 win over Las Palmas as the Argentina forward was ruled out for up to eight weeks with a torn ligament in his knee.
Luis Suarez’s double was enough for Barca to pick up the win, but they were more concerned with the well-being of their inspirational frontman, who lasted only nine minutes of the match before suffering the injury in a clash with Pedro Bigas.
While Messi was taken to hospital for tests, Suarez struck twice and might have had a hat-trick before Jonathan Viera’s deflected goal late on set up a nervy finish.
After the match, Barca announced that Messi was facing an extended spell on the sidelines.
“Messi has a tear in the internal collateral ligament of his left knee,” the club said via Twitter. “He will be out for around 7-8 weeks.”
Real Madrid were held to a goalless draw by Malaga despite outplaying Javi Gracia’s side at the Bernabeu.
Rafa Benitez’s men had a total of 30 shots on goal throughout the game and played the final 13 minutes with an extra man as Nordin Amrabat was sent off, but still failed to find the net. It is the first time they have failed to score at home in 56 competitive games.
Villarreal moved to the top of the table with an impressive 1-0 win over Atletico Madrid – the goal scored by Leo Baptistao against his parent club.
In the day’s other game, Sevilla cliamed a late 3-2 win over Rayo Vallecano, Yevhen Konoplyanka netting the deciding goal in the 86th minute.
Kevin Gameiro and Steven Nzonzi had put the hosts 2-0 by half time up only for Vallecano to level in the second half through Bebe and Javi Guerra.
On Friday night, Shkodran Mustafi’s header saw Valencia get back to winning ways 1-0 in a hard-fought clash with Granada.