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Messi the super sub

  • Fox News, Monday, September 17, 2012 2:36 AM

Because Lionel Messi had just returned from duty with the Argentine national team, Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova left him on the bench for the first hour of Barca's clash with Getafe. It marked the first time in a year that Messi was named as a substitute in a La Liga game.

Vilanova was concerned about Messi's muscle soreness after playing two full games with Argentina. But after Messi entered the game in the 60th minute, he scored twice to seal a 4-1 win over Getafe -- Barca's fourth victory in its first four La Liga games of the season.

Barca was up, 1-0, thanks to an Adriano goal when Messi came off the bench. He scored 15 minutes later from the penalty spot and scored from close range four minutes later. David Villa scored Barca's fourth goal.

"I discussed it with him [Messi]," Vilanova told Marca. "He'd had a tough preseason and was jet-lagged after traveling to Argentina, he felt a little tired. He could have started, but I wanted fresher players out there to begin with. ... It will go down as a success, but if we'd lost I would have been called a risk-taker."

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