Messi looks in pain at his right ankle in stoppage time at the Vicente Calderon [AFP]

Lionel Messi has not fractured his ankle according to initial tests, Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola said after the Argentina forward was taken off on a stretcher during the Spanish champions' 2-1 win at Atletico Madrid.

Messi, who scored Barca's opening goal, clashed with Atletico defender Tomas Ujfalusi in stoppage time at the Vicente Calderon and clutched his face with both hands as he was carried round the touchline.

Barca said in a statement on their website that he had sprained the external ligament in his right ankle but there was no bone damage and further tests would be conducted on Monday.

"We are very pleased with the win but sad about the injury to Leo," Guardiola told a news conference on Sunday.

"He's sad, red-eyed. But these things happen. Now we can only wait on the prognosis and help him recover.

"In principle, a fracture is ruled out which was what was worrying us."

Ujfalusi had already been shown a yellow card and received a straight red for the challenge.

"The video images speak for themselves I imagine," Guardiola said.

Gerard Pique was the other scorer as Barca downed the early-season Primera Liga pacesetters.

Messi celebrated the 10th anniversary of his arrival to Barcelona with a 13th-minute opener before Raul Garcia headed home an equaliser for the hosts in the 25th.

Results & fixtures

Saturday September 18

 Espanyol 1-0 Almeria
 Real Mallorca 2-0 Osasuna
 R Sociedad 1-2 Real Madrid
 Sporting Gijon 2-2 Ath Bilbao 

Sunday September 19

 
Hercules CF 1-2 Valencia
 Levante 1-2 Villarreal
 Rac Santander 2-0 Zaragoza
 Atletico Madrid 1-2 Barcelona
 Malaga 1-2 Sevilla

Monday September 20

 
Deportivo Coruna v Getafe

Pique calmly controlled a corner kick inside the Atletico area to fire home the 33rd minute winner, but Barcelona's victory was marred when the world player of the year exited.

Valencia top

Earlier, Juanma Mata and Pablo Hernandez scored first-half goals as Valencia beat Hercules 2-1 to maintain their perfect start and go top of the league with nine points.

Spain forward Mata opened after two minutes before Hernandez made it 2-0 from a free kick in the 24th minute.

Former France striker David Trezeguet scored his first goal for Hercules, who were coming off a 2-0 victory over Barcelona, with a penalty before half time.

Real Madrid, who beat Real Sociedad 2-1 on Saturday, are second alongside Sevilla with seven points while Barcelona, Atletico, Espanyol and Villarreal have six points.

Sevilla rallied from Jose Rondon's 14th-minute opener with Alejandro Alfaro equalising six minutes later before Martin Caceres scored the winner in the 47th minute to beat Malaga 2-1 at La Rosaleda stadium.

Nilmar scored two first-half goals to lead Villarreal to a 2-1 win at Levante, who pulled one back through Felipe Caicedo in stoppage time.

Henrique and Ariel Nahuelpan scored second half goals as Racing Santander beat Zaragoza 2-0 in the only one of Sunday's matches not to finish in a 2-1 away win.

Source: Agencies