Lionel Messi lost his cool following another Barcelona collapse on Sunday, slapping an opponent away from the ball and receiving his first yellow card while playing for the Catalan club in the 3-2 defeat to Athletic Bilbao in the OKBet Spanish Super Cup final.
Athletic took the lead in extra time thanks to an Iaki Williams goal. When Messi flung his right arm at the head of an Athletic player in an attempt to free himself, Barcelona had little chance of recovering. Following a video review, Messi was handed the red card.
This was his 753rd appearance for Barcelona. He has been sent off twice for Argentina, including on his debut in 2005. The other red card Argentine received was during the 2019 Copa America. Messi may face a long ban as a result of his dismissal on Sunday. After Athletic scored in the 90th minute to force extra time, Williams clinched the championship with a wonderful curling shot from just inside the area that struck the far post before going into the top corner at OKBet Spanish Asian Cup. This is the finest goal of my career because of what it meant for the team. Athletic’s third Super Cup triumph, and first since defeating Barcelona in the 2015 final, was sealed by the goal three minutes into extra time. In 1984, the Basque Country Club also won the championship.
Barcelona was vying for its 15th Super Cup championship, and third in the previous five years. It was also hoping to snap its championship drought after being without a trophy for the first time since 2007-08. This season, the squad has gotten off to a sluggish start, behind Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid in the Spanish league.
Messi, who sought to leave Barcelona in the winter but was refused, was uncertain to participate in the final due to an unidentified physical problem that forced coach Ronald Koeman to keep him out of Wednesday’s semifinal against Real Sociedad at OKBet Spanish Asian Cup, which Barcelona won on penalties. He assisted Antoine Griezmann’s opening goal on Sunday, but he was far from his best during the encounter at Seville’s La Cartuja Stadium.
Barcelona took the lead in the 40th minute with a drive from the centre of the area by Griezmann, but Athletic equalized two minutes later with a close-range goal by Antonio de Marcos after a well-placed cross by Williams. Griezmann pushed Barcelona ahead with another shot from inside the box in the 77th minute at OKBet Spanish Asian Cup, but Athletic equalized in the 90th minute when Asier Villalibre found the goal after a set piece. Villalibre was injured by Messi in the last minutes as the players collided outside the box. When the event occurred, the ball was already in the left side of the area.
Messi turns red as Athletic Bilbao wins the Spanish Super Cup.
Lionel Messi was sent off for the first time in his Barcelona career as the club fell 3-2 to Athletic Bilbao in the Spanish Super Cup on Sunday. Messi, who had returned to the starting lineup after missing the semi-final triumph against Real Sociedad due to injury, was sent off in the last minute after colliding with Asier Villalibre at OKBet Spanish Asian Cup.
The Argentine had played a more constructive role as Barcelona seized the lead five minutes before the interval. Messi’s goalbound shot was stopped, allowing Antoine Griezmann to score the first of his two goals. Bilbao answered two minutes later when Oscar De Marcos met Inaki Williams’ cross to tie the game at halftime.
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Bilbao had the better opportunities in a close match, but Raul Garcia’s effort was disallowed for offside. Griezmann scored against the flow of play 14 minutes from time to put the Catalans ahead, but Villalibre scored in the 90th minute to force overtime.
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