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"He Was A Disaster, Killed The Tie": Barcelona Coach Xavi Lambasts Referee For Arujo Sending Off

05:00 PM Apr 17, 2024 IST | 8PM News Desk
 he was a disaster  killed the tie   barcelona coach xavi lambasts referee for arujo sending off
"He was a disaster, killed the tie": Barcelona coach Xavi lambasts referee for Arujo sending off

Barcelona : FC Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez lambasted the referee's decision to send defender Ronald Araujo off and labelled him a "disaster" after their exit from the UEFA Champions League following a 4-1 defeat to Paris Saint Germain.

The Romanian referee, Istvan Kovacs, showed Araujo a red card in the 29th minute of the game for a last man challenge on Bradley Barcola, which, according to Xavi, killed the second leg of the quarter-final.

Before the red card, Barcelona led the game by 1-0 but the match completely changed when Barcelona were reduced to 10 men. On his return to Barcelona, Ousmane Dembele scored a goal while Kylian Mbappe struck a brace to seal a 4-1 win for PSG and 6-4 on aggregate.

"We are annoyed. The red card marked the tie. We were well organised 11 vs. 11. It completely changed everything. For me, it's too much to send [Araujo] off there," Xavi said as quoted from ESPN.

"The referee was really bad. I told him, he was a disaster. He killed the tie. I don't like speaking about referees but it has to be said. I don't understand it. It's not good going down to 10 players and from that point on it's another game. For as much as we speak [about the match], the red card marks everything," he added.

Xavi was also sent off the field in the second half for protesting the referee's decision to not hand Barcelona a penalty for Marquinhos's challenge on Ilkay Gundogan.

"That was an error by me, it was my fault," Xavi added.

Barcelona had the opportunity to make the aggregate score level before Mbappe put the coffin in the nail to seal the win for PSG.

"We had the chance to equalise with [Gundogan] hitting the post and could even have made it 2-0 before the red card with [Robert Lewandowski's] shot which went just over," Xavi said.

"It's just a shame that the hard work of an entire season ends because of one refereeing decision. I would have liked it to be 11 vs. 11 for the whole game. It's an unnecessary red," Xavi added.

After crashing out in the quarter-finals of the UCL, Barcelona will return to action against Real Madrid in El Clasico.

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