Messi's absence opens El Clasico door for Dembele

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The 25-year-old Argentina global - who has scored at least 20 league goals in three of the previous four seasons - is out of contract in 2021 with a reported €110 million release clause for foreign clubs.

He had already scored, making it 2-0 with a crisp left-footed finish, to add to a stunning opener from Philippe Coutinho. The trophy was handed to him by formee team mate Javier SAVIOLA.

The top two teams from La Liga will lock horns this weekend as the unexpected league leaders Sevilla travel to the Camp Nou to play against second-placed FC Barcelona. He played a pass in to COUTINHO and the Brazilian perfectly slotted the ball into the top corner of the net.

"We shouldn't let Messi's injury affect us", defender Gerard Pique said.

Messi will now miss Barca's Champions League game at home to Inter Milan on Wednesday, as well as the season's first Clasico four days later against Real Madrid.

Sevilla did indeed have one back in the 79th minute when Sarabia's deflected effort found a route past Ter Stegen.

Messi had sustained the knock after landing heavily on his right arm after colliding with Valencia's Franco Vazquez in La Liga fixture earlier this week and has been ruled out for three weeks now.

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Inter benefit from Messi's absence but the Italian club understand just how dismaying it is for football.

The Dorados head coach, however, has said that his comments were taken out of context and accused the media of driving a wedge between himself and the player he once led as Argentina coach.

Real, meanwhile, have problems of their own heading into the clash, having slipped to a fourth defeat in five games through a shock home loss to Levante on Saturday.

And Inter are hugely disappointment that they will be unable to go up against the five-time Ballon d'Or victor.

The club's previous worst run had been 464 minutes, in 1985. "We have a team good enough to do well in the matches that we have ahead".

"Right now that is the last thing that I'm thinking about", said Lopetegui when asked if he was anxious about losing his job.

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