Argentina's Exequiel Palacios suffers fractured spine after shocking tackle by Angel Romero

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Argentina had to settle for a point against Paraguay on Thursday night as they dropped points for the first time in World Cup qualifying.

The away side led through Angel Romero’s 21st-minute penalty as Miguel Almiron was brought down inside the box.

Nicolas Gonzalez headed Argentina level just before half time.

In the second half, Lionel Messi thought he had put his side ahead with a brilliant finish from a great team move but it was ruled out for a foul in the build-up.

But the biggest talking point came in the first half sandwiched between the two goals.

Paraguay goalscorer Romero produced a quite shocking flying knee tackle into the back of Argentina’s Exequiel Palacios.

It was horrendous and after the referee had looked at the VAR replay, only issued Romero with a yellow card.

Unsurprisingly, Palacios had to be substituted off immediately with Giovani Lo Celso coming on in his place.

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And now, it’s been confirmed that the Bayer Leverkusen midfielder suffered a pretty serious injury.

Palacios has suffered a fracture to his spine as a result of Romero’s tackle as confirmed by the Argentinean Football Association on Friday morning.

“The player suffered direct trauma to the left paravertebral lumbar area, verifying a fracture of the transverse processes of the lumbar spine,” a statement said.

Palacios will continue to be hospitalised “to control his evolution.”

Get well soon, Exequiel

After the match, Argentina boss Lionel Scaloni blasted the referee and VAR for failing to send Romero off.

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“Today a player will be out for several days or months for a tackle that I don’t know the intention, but the referee exists and the VAR does not review. And we lost that player,” he complained.

The draw puts Argentina top of the qualifying table with two wins (1-0 vs Ecuador and 2-1 vs Bolivia) and now this draw. Meanwhile, Paraguay are still also unbeaten with a draw against Peru (2-2) and a win against Venezuela (1-0) before Thursday’s result.

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