Lionel Messi ruled out of El Clasico following arm fracture vs Sevilla

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Lionel MESSI started the match strong for Barcelona as he helped set up the first goal in their 4-2 win against Sevilla.

A fractured arm has ruled Lionel Messi out of action for three weeks and Ernesto Valverde accepted Barcelona will miss their captain.

Valverde will give him freedom, as he does with Messi, deployed in a floating wide left role alongside Philippe Coutinho, and behind Luis Suarez, and the pressure will be on to perform.

Barca will hope the injury to their star player is not serious, particularly with a handful of hard fixtures coming up.

This is a game in which Barcelona wouldn't really miss Messi's presence, considering he would have made way for the bench warmers, anyway.

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Real will look to the Champions League to provide a much-needed confidence boost at home to Czech club Viktoria Plzen on Tuesday, before they head into the crunch clash with Barcelona.

At first Barca seemed unconcerned by Messi's injury, with Ousmane Dembele taking an age to warm up.

Inter recently got the better of their city rivals, AC Milan, in the local derby and is now third in Serie A. It was a Messi masterclass that propelled Barca past a risky Tottenham in his club's last Champions League outing.

"We will miss him, win or lose, but we want to miss him winning".

"We had a great September before the global break and we had to win to stay on this path, so we could arrive at Barcelona with this mentality, which is very important for us", Icardi added. Luis Suarez added the third by converting a second-half penalty kick.

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Sevilla got a goal back with the help of a huge deflection with a little over 10 minutes to go as Sarabia's shot struck ex-Sevilla man Clement Lenglet and looped into the far corner.

Real Madrid, who welcome them to the Bernabeu next weekend, are fifth after falling to another defeat - this time at home to Levante - earlier in the day.

Lopetegui, only three months into his stint with Real Madrid, defended himself against the critics.

Madrid defender Marcelo said the players were behind Lopetegui.

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