Gerard Pique injury: Barcelona defender substituted against Atlético Madrid

Manuel Queimadelos Alonso

Barcelona have lost their best defender, and they're not exactly deep at the position.

Barcelona, already thin at central defense, just got a lot thinner. Gerard Piqué has been forced off after just 12 minutes of their Champions League match against Atlético Madrid, with Marc Bartra entering the match in his place.

Pique's injury was suffered during an aerial challenge with Atléti striker Diego Costa, who's made painful challenges on quite a few central defenders this season. Pique fell awkwardly after taking a shoulder from Costa and sat down on the pitch, indicating that he needed to come off. It wasn't obvious what his injury was straight away, but it appeared to be a lower leg injury of some kind. Pique walked off under his own power, but he was limping heavily.

Bartra has had a handful of excellent games for Barcelona this season, but he's also been quite error-prone during his career with the Blaugrana. He's never quite been able to make the jump from B-team star to starter for the first team, though he might have a chance to establish himself in the coming weeks if Pique has to miss significant time.

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