Furious Messi headbutts Yanga-Mbiwa in Roma friendly

A heated exchange off the ball saw the Argentine lash out at the French defender, grabbing him by the throat and connecting his head with the former Newcastle man

Lionel Messi was lucky not to receive a red card in Barcelona 's friendly against Roma when he headbutted Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa .

With Barca leading 1-0 through Neymar's strike, the pair began to tangle during the first half in the Joan Gamper Trophy at Camp Nou.

The Argentine attacker has a reputation for keeping a cool head in intense situations, but his temper flashed through when he came face-to-face with the France international.

Messi lashed out at Yanga-Mbiwa with a headbutt before grabbing at his throat.

The referee then separated the pair and gave both a yellow card, though Messi in particular was perhaps lucky not to be dismissed.

Moments later, Messi went on to double his side's lead, finishing off a sound team move to send his side 2-0 up at half time.