Lionel Messi on Sunday night let Barcelona down in the Spanish Super Cup final against Athletic Club when he was sent off for the first time in his club career.
Barcelona led until the 90th minute when Athletic equalised. The Basque side scored the winner three minutes into extra time while Messi got sent off in the first minute of added-on time in extra time to compound an already bad situation.
Barcelona manager, Ronald Koeman defended his star man after the match, saying Messi got frustrated after being serially and systematically fouled by the Athletic players.
“I don’t know how many times they fouled him, and it’s normal to react when they keep trying to foul you as a player who is looking to dribble with the ball, but I need to see it again properly.”
Over in Milan, Juventus were listless in a 2-0 loss to Inter Milan in which Ronaldo played all 90 minutes but failed to sparkle.
Ronaldo completed only one dribble and had three shots, with two tame attempts on target. He did not create any goal scoring chance for his team mates and was lacklustre for the majority of the encounter, likewise all the other players.
Juventus captain, Giorgio Chiellini, said afterward that his team was beaten by the better and more aggressive side. “We never got into the game – we weren’t able to stop them playing and kept getting beaten in one-against-ones. We’ve got a cup final to play in three days, so we need to recover – we can’t let this result floor us.”
Sunday was a night to forget for the two best players in the world. Messi could be banned for up to four matches while Ronaldo will hope Sunday night will be a minor blip in Juventus’ chase of a 10th consecutive Scudetto.
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