Messi substituted at half-time to cut short 400th LaLiga start

Lionel Messi set up the opening goal but failed to make it out for the second half against Villarreal at Camp Nou on Tuesday.

Lionel Messi saw his first start of the season for Barcelona cut short as he was substituted at half-time in the LaLiga clash with Villarreal.

The Argentina international was selected in the XI following a delayed start to the 2019-20 campaign due to a calf problem, only to suffer an injury during the first 45 minutes on Tuesday.

Messi received treatment from Barcelona's medical staff on the sideline following a challenge and did eventually return to the pitch.

However, the 32-year-old did not emerge after the interval at Camp Nou, replaced by Ousmane Dembele.

Messi, who collected The Best FIFA Men's Player award in Milan on Monday, was making his 400th LaLiga start for Barca.

He was instrumental in Barcelona's opening goal too, supplying the corner for Antoine Griezmann to head the hosts in front.

Arthur added a second with a long-range strike but Villarreal halved the deficit before the break, Santi Cazorla's left-footed shot from outside the penalty area beating Marc-Andre ter Stegen.