La Liga: Barcelona's injury woes worsen as Jeremy Mathieu suffers setback
Barcelona centre-back Jeremy Mathieu joined the club's mounting injury list and faces three weeks out after hurting his right calf.
Barcelona: Barcelona centre-back Jeremy joined the club's mounting injury list and faces three weeks out after hurting his right calf, the Spanish champions said on Wednesday.
The Frenchman limped out of Tuesday's 1-0 defeat to city rivals Espanyol in the Catalan Super Cup with tests subsequently revealing a muscular injury.
Mathieu's absence further depletes a backline which is already missing first-choice defenders Gerard Pique and Jordi Alba, both of whom were recently ruled out for at least a fortnight.
Captain Andres Iniesta suffered knee ligament damage in Saturday's 3-2 win at Valencia and is expected to be sidelined for between six and eight weeks.
Mathieu will miss this weekend's league game against Granada as well as next Sunday's trip to second-place Sevilla. The 32-year-old is also suspended for Barca's return fixture against Manchester City in the Champions League on 1 November.
Barcelona are currently in third spot in the La Liga table, two points behind leaders Real Madrid. Barcelona's attacking trio of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar will also need to be at their best in the coming weeks, as their depleted backline will face a stern test at the Sánchez Pizjuán stadium against Sevilla, who are in fine form and handed Atletico Madrid their first defeat of the season.
In the absence of several first choice defenders, Barcelona's utility player Javier Mascherano has been plugging the gaps, playing as right-back or centre-back when needed.
Real Madrid won their fourth straight game against Barcelona, 2-1 at Camp Nou, for their best streak in a Clasico in 56 years.
"I don't think there is a solution," said Koeman in a press conference on Tuesday. "For me it's a social problem, they are people who have an education problem, they don't know what morals and values are."
This was a victory that sent Madrid five points clear of their opponents, a healthy gap even at this early stage of a LaLiga season that has 29 games to go.