Athletic 3-2 Barcelona | Supercopa de Espana He could miss 1-3 games, or 4-12
This Monday morning, everybody is talking about the Supercopa de Espana final, where Barcelona lost to Athletic Club and Lionel Messi got himself sent off.
Having dribbled into the middle of the pitch and played the ball out wide, the No.10 found himself irritated by Asier Villalibre‘s obstruction and threw a hand in the Athletic striker’s direction in an attempt to push him out of the way.
Jesus Gil Manzano half saw what happened, reviewed the incident on the VAR monitor and decided to show Messi a red card.
In his post-match report, Gil Manzano wrote that Messi had been sent off for “hitting an opponent with his arm, using excessive force while the ball was in play but not within a playable distance”.
If the competition committee consider Messi‘s action to be aggression, he could miss between four to 12 games. If it’s seen as a less extreme action, he’ll be out for one to three. Whatever happens, it seems certain that he’ll miss out against Cornella in the Copa del Rey and Elche in LaLiga Santander.
Barcelona defended their captain, and Guillermo Amor was one of those to offer support, whereas Antoine Griezmann avoided the topic completely.
“It was in the last few minutes of the game,” Amor said. “There’s contact with the opponents, sometimes it happens. I don’t think you can say anything to him.
“Messi is a clean player. He is usually on the end of this, not doing it.”
Villalibre had his own clear idea of what happened.
“I don’t think we have to get into it,” he said. “All teams make fouls, and we have made them too.
“Messi? I put my body there so that he couldn’t go ahead, he got angry, he put his hand in my face and I think it was clear aggression.”
The majority of those who saw the incident clearly think it was a red card, but an image from behind the goal has generated debate on social media about whether or not the decision was correct.