Lionel Messi leaves after seeing red….
Barcelona captain Lionel Messi returned from injury in Sunday’s Spanish Super Cup final, but was sent off the field after a collision with substitute Asier Villalibre.
Messi sees red for an unconventional punch pic.twitter.com/PAW8cm95OR
– CFNSP (@CFNSP) January 17, 2021
The 33-year-old athlete collided with a substitute Athletic athlete and was shown a red card by the referee after a VAR check. This is the first time Messi has been sent to Barcelona.
1 – After 753 appearances in all competitions, Lionel Messi was replaced for the first time by FC Barcelona. Red.
– OptaJose (@OptaJose) 17. January 2021
The departure ended a miserable evening in Barcelona. They led twice thanks to goals from Antoine Griezmann, but eventually lost 3-2.
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A bad night for Messi & Barca
Messi returned to the starting line-up after missing Wednesday’s semi-final against Real Sociedad through injury. Coach Ronald Koeman has assembled a strong squad for the game against Athletic.
Barça XI#SuperCopaBarça Final
– FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) 17. January 2021
The Basques got off to a better start, but found themselves trailing five minutes before the break when Griezmann scored the first goal. Unfortunately for Barca, Athletic fought back through Oscar de Marcos and went into the break with the same score.
In the 77th minute. Griezmann scored from a Jordi Alba cross in the 42nd minute to put Barca back in the lead. It looked like the goal would be enough to win the Super Bowl for Barca. However, Villalibre equalized in the 90th minute. Minute off and forced overtime.
Then, in the third minute of extra time, Athletica took their first lead of the game. Striker Inaki Williams fired a wonderful shot past goalkeeper Marc-André ter Stegen to make it 3-2.
Barca failed to score the equalizer and experienced a miserable evening, made worse by the red card given to Messi for the first time in his extraordinary career.
What is the next step for Barca?
Koeman will need to get his players back quickly after a disappointing night. The defeat ends nine unbeaten matches for the Catalans and adds something to a busy schedule.
Barca return to the Copa del Rey on Thursday against third-placed Cornella. The match gives the team a great chance to get back on track and it is likely that Koeman will get his side a big turnaround.
However, the Dutchman will be wary of Cornell, who will knock out current La Liga leaders Atletico Madrid in the final round. Barca then travel to Elche in La Liga and close the month of January with another game against Athletic.
The two teams met earlier this month in La Liga at San Mames, where Barca won 3-2, for a meeting in the 31st round. January for the second leg at Camp Nou.
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