June 23, 2021
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Lionel Messi Receives First Red Card as Barcelona Falls To Athletic Bilbao in Spanish Super Cup Finals : SOCCER : Sports World News

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Lionel Messi received his first red card with Barcelona, as they lost to Athletic Bilbao, 3-2, in the Super Cup Finals. Messi could face a four-game ban. (Photo : RFEF – Pool/Getty Images)

Lionel Messi, on a rare instance, received a red card for the first time with Barcelona.

The 33-year-old Barca captain took him more than 750 games before he was sent off due to a violation. The Barcelona, on Messi’s first club red card, caved into the Athletic Bilbao, 3-2 in the Spanish Super Cup finals at the Estadio de La Cartuja on Sunday.

Messi Could Face Four-Game Suspension

According to the Spanish Football Association, Messi could be sanctioned through a four-game ban for his violation.

During the final seconds of the game, the Argentine forward lose composure after struggling to get past his defender and swinging Bilbao striker Asier Villalibre on his running lane.

Prior to the commotion that happened, Athletic club’s Inaki Williams scored the last goal to overtake Barcelona in extra time. 

The first call was dismissed but upon the review of the video assistant referee, it was ruled out to be a clear violation.

French forward Antoine Griezmann kicked the first goal for Barcelona on the 40th-minute mark, then followed through a second at the 77th minute before Villalibre and Oscar de Marcos of Athletic Bilbao equalized the score.

Messi’s Barca encounter was not the first red card that the Argentina national captain received. According to Sports Illustrated, his recent red card settled on his 753rd appearance with the Catalan club but before that, he had two with Argentina.

In 2005, an 18-year-old Messi sagged off on his first Argentina debut. It only took 44 seconds for him to be sent off when referee Marcus Merk saw Messi threw an elbow to Hungarian defender Vilmos Vanczak, who was pulling the Argentine’s shirt. After the decision, reports said that the young Messi was crying in the locker room.

The second red card that Lionel Messi had on his professional career came off the 2019 Copa America. Again, Messi caught a quarrel with Chile’s Gary Medel with Albiceleste leading the match at 2-0. It was still questionable how he received the verdict, where in fact he did not respond after Medel punched him several times.

Athletic Bilbao Knocks Barcelona

According to Goal, the Blaugrana trailed seven points behind Atletico Madrid despite having two more games. Currently, Barcelona sits in third place in the Primera Division. Last season, they never won a trophy. The last time it happened was during the season 2007-2008.

The Barca managed to cling to Riqui Pig’s miracle penalty over Real Sociedad during the semifinals shootout. Coach Ronald Koeman trusted his young squad to take over without their captain, who was not allowed to play due to his injury.

Athletic Bilbao, the second semifinal winner, cruised in a 2-1 win against Real Madrid following Raul Garcia’s two goals – with one through a 38th-minute penalty.

This was the second consecutive year where the winner of the Supercopa de Espana was a team who did not win Copa del Rey or La Liga. The win was only the third game for coach Marcelino Garcia, who was appointed last January 4.

“The players deserve all the credit for this achievement. They defeated Real Madrid and Barcelona to be able to win this trophy,” Marcelino told.

For Barcelona players, the loss was a complete disappointment in the organization, especially when the man of the show, Griezmann gave his best to revive the Barca. In a report by CBS, the former Atletico Madrid player admitted that he was “annoyed and pissed off” with the outcome after his team only got silver.

Barcelona will look forward to winning in Copa del Rey against Cornella while the Athletic Bilbao will fight Ibiza on Thursday. On January 31, they will meet again in La Liga.

Both teams return to Copa del Rey action, with Barcelona facing Cornella on Thursday, while Athletic face Ibiza the same day. The two will meet in La Liga on Jan. 31.  

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