Chris Smalling Bloodies Messi By Smashing Him From Behind

Lionel Messi was bleeding after a rough challenge from Chris Smalling.

Although Lionel Messi is consistently targeted by opposing defenses, it’s rare that he takes too much physical abuse from opponents. Quick on his feet and with a low center of gravity, the Barcelona No. 10 is usually able to avoid the brunt of challenges he faces. 

But when he’s attacked from behind, as he was by Manchester United’s Chris Smalling, there’s little Messi can do to prevent harm.

Messi was left on the floor, bleeding from the face after Smalling smashed into the Argentine’s back in the first half of their Champions League quarterfinal first leg on Tuesday at Old Trafford. 

Smalling, who before the match said “bring it on” in regard to facing Messi, clearly wasn’t backing down, but this was a bit dirty, despite not earning the English defender a yellow card.

Messi, who assisted on Barcelona’s opener in the 12th minute, required treatment before coming back on the pitch. 

Embed from Getty Images

The match went to halftime 1-0 as Manchester United had a penalty shout denied and David De Gea denied Philippe Coutinho from adding to Barcelona’s lead.

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