Barca suffer Iniesta blow

Adrian Mills
Wednesday 05 November 2008 14:09

Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta is set to be sidelined for around six weeks after suffering a leg injury in the 1-1 Champions League draw with FC Basel.

The 24-year-old Spain international had to be substituted midway through the second half of the game in the Camp Nou, with Iniesta's problems putting a dampener on Barca's qualification for the knockout stages.

Coach Pep Guardiola said after the stalemate: "I'm not upset at the team. The good news is that we qualified, but we had problems getting into the game.

"I told my players to be patient and open up spaces, but our movement of the ball wasn't good, while Basel also defended well.

"We got there in the end, but maybe we should look at how we got there. I think we got into a mindset where we were thinking we only had to turn up to get the points.

"If you are not playing well, whatever the opposition, it will always be difficult to win. That is a message I want to stress.

"I don't like the fact we drew, but maybe the result will do us some good. It is only November and we have qualified for the next round with two games to spare, so that's a positive.

"Andres Iniesta's injury is very bad news for us. It's never good to have an injured player so it's sad news. He's an important player for us, but injuries are a part of football."

Atletico Madrid defender Mariano Pernia has revealed that the assistant referee who awarded Liverpool a late penalty in the 1-1 Champions League draw at Anfield apologised for his decision.

Pernia was penalised for a foul on home skipper Steven Gerrard deep into stoppage time at Anfield, just as Atletico seemed set to qualify for the knockout stages of the competition.

"It was a very ugly decision by the linesman, but we all make mistakes, us players too and I think the linesman made one here," Pernia said.

"In nobody's eyes was that a penalty. We're very hurt to have drawn the game in what was practically the final minute.

"It was a non-existent foul, Gerrard threw himself on top of me. It couldn't have been more clear.

"The linesman said 'sorry, sorry' after the penalty was given. He had time to correct it and go back on it but he didn't."

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments