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This was the impotence blow of Lionel Messi that caused him his first expulsion from Barcelona

Barcelona I had won the Spain Supercup: won 2-1 when in minute 90 Assier Villalibre scored the equality for the Athletic Bilbao. And it was the same footballer who, already in the epilogue of the extension and with his team winning 3-2, managed to “get out of the game” Lionel Messi. His attempt to stop the Argentine forward’s path towards the area achieved the task of making him angry, to the point that He applied a blow that led to his first expulsion with the Blaugrana shirt.

La Pulga, 33, had built a discreet game, upset with the sticky brand of the rival, especially after the bustle of Dani García. At 121 minutes of play in Seville, in an attack sequence on the left, Messi wanted to reach the edge of the area where he usually receives the center back, and he encountered the obstacle of Búfalo Villalibre, an attacker like him; although in this case in order to defend the result, taking charge of the dirty work.

Burdened by the friction of the game and overtime, and by the annoyance at the squandered opportunity to win a title (something that has been denied since April 2019, when he won the League), Lionel slapped him on the head that referee Gil Manzano did not observe at first. But it was called by the VAR. And after verifying the play on the screen at the edge of the playing field, he approached the captain of the Culé cast and showed him the red card.

Messi, a player who is usually correct and affected by rough play, has little history linked to expulsions. In their long career in Barcelona, ​​they only remember a red one for protesting in a Second B match with the Blaugrana subsidiary against Peña Sport. Then, with the Argentine team, he recorded two memorable ones. In his debut with the national team against Hungary in Budapest, on August 17, 2005 and after crossing with Gary Medel in the match for third place in the Copa América in Brazil 2019.

Barcelona vs Athletic Bilbao

Even without being his best meeting, and risking his physique after the physical discomfort that had left him out of the semifinal against Real SociedadMessi had been decisive in the scaffolding of Barcelona until his expulsion. In fact, he was involved in the 1-0 action, 40 minutes into the first half. After a combination with Jordi Alba, he finished off, saved the Basque goalkeeper and from the rebound Antoine Griezmann signed the advantage for his team. Before, at 37, an attempt by the star had gone over the crossbar.

In the second stage, at 7 minutes, a free throw of 10 had passed close. But he suffered from adversary harassment. Even at 99 minutes, already in the add-on, he had fought with the aforementioned Garcia. And Villalibre was the target of his anger, when the defeat of Barcelona already seemed inexorable.

It took 753 games for Messi to see the first red in his flawless career with him Barça. Passionate and competitive as he is, he will surely already be thinking about the closest rematch. On Thursday, the culé will face UE Cornellá for the Copa del Rey. Yes, the same adversary who struck against Atlético Madrid. On Sunday 24, meanwhile, visit Elche for the League. Of course, he must first wait for the sanction he will receive for the expulsion. In Spain they speculate that Barcelona may suffer his absence between two and four games.

The moment in which the referee Jesús Gil Manzano shows the red card to La Pulga (REUTERS / Marcelo Del Pozo)
The moment in which the referee Jesús Gil Manzano shows the red card to La Pulga (REUTERS / Marcelo Del Pozo)


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About the author

Kim Diaz

Kim recently joined the team, and she writes for the Headline column of the website. She has done major in English, and a having a diploma in Journalism.

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