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Barcelona star Lionel Messi could return to action as soon as Tuesday, coach Ernesto Valverde said after the Blaugrana’s 3-2 victory at Rayo Vallecano, ESPN reports.
The win was Barca’s third straight without Messi, who is currently out with a broken bone in his right arm. However, Valverde told reporters after the match that Messi could be back for the La Liga lea­ders’ mid­week trip to Milan, where Barca will face Inter in the Champions League.
“I think we all play better with Messi in the side,” Valverde said. “We will see how he is in training [on Sunday] with regards to the Inter game this week.”
Luis Suarez scored twice in Vallecas as Barcelona had to come from behind to edge past Rayo Vallecano but the striker admitted Valverde had every right to be angry with the team’s performance after the match.
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Suarez gave Barca an early lead but Rayo roared back with goals from Jose Pozo and Alvaro Garcia as the La Liga leaders switched off. The home side looked set to hold on to all three points until substitute Ousmane Dembele equalised in the 87th minute, giving way to Suarez’s dramatic 90th-minute winner.
“I could understand if [Barca coach] Valverde, despite the win, is angry with us,” Suarez, who is now La Liga’s top scorer with nine goals, told reporters. “We, the players, have to be self-critical. Small details at these grounds can make a big difference. It’s places like this where you can throw the league away. It didn’t happen here, but we came close.”