Barcelona coach Frank Rijkaard has dismissed claims they lost on Saturday at Atletico Madrid because he started the game with Lionel Messi on the bench.

Rijkaard said: "I respect the critics, but remember that we also have lost games with Messi on the field. It seems to me that this is exaggerated just a little bit.

"Leo was carrying some slight injuries and needed to rest."

Asked why, if Messi was injured, did he throw him on, Rijkaard replied: "I was trying to change the result, but it wasn't possible."