Barcelona's quest for a La Liga and Champions League title got a little more difficult on Sunday after Adriano Correia had to leave the game in the 22nd minute of Barca's 3-1 win against Rayo Vallecano.
From Reuters (via Yahoo!):
Barcelona defender Adriano Correia has pulled a hamstring muscle in his right leg and will be out of action for four to six weeks, the La Liga leaders said on Sunday.
The versatile Brazilian full back had to be substituted in the first half of Barca's home league match against Rayo Vallecano after stretching to control a ball.
The Catalans are now seriously lacking defensive depth, as Carles Puyol is also out of action and could potentially miss the rest of the season after having surgery on his right knee.
While Barca's 13-point lead atop the La Liga table is probably insurmountable at this point, losing Adriano and Puyol for the team's Champions League quarterfinal tie against Paris Saint-Germain—being played on April 2 and 10—will certainly hurt.
Adriano's ability to play various positions, namely full-back and winger, has come in handy for Barcelona this season. In all, he's made 27 appearances for the club in all competitions, scoring six goals and adding two assists.
While losing a player like Adriano isn't as damaging to the team as, say, losing Lionel Messi or Andres Iniesta, the versatility that Adriano offers the lineup is a major loss. In the stretch run of Barcelona's season, several players will now have to shoulder a larger workload.
With that being said, if there is a team that can survive a lack of depth defensively, it is probably Barca. The team's ability to control possession and limit an opponent's scoring opportunities simply by limiting their touches should take some pressure off a depleted back line.
Besides, as the Catalans showed when they overcame a 2-0 deficit on aggregate by defeating AC Milan 4-0 in the second leg of their Champions League clash, Barcelona can turn it on offensively like few teams in the world.
Adriano's injury will surely make the battle a more difficult one, but I would still expect the side to move past PSG when Champions League play resumes in April.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!