Messi sees first pink in Barca shirt as crew loses in last


SEVILLE, January 18

Lionel Messi was sent off for the first time in his Barcelona career in the closing stages of extra time as they lost 3-2 to Athletic Bilbao in the Spanish Super Cup on Sunday.

Messi, who returned to the starting lineup after missing the semifinal victory over Real Sociedad through injury, was dismissed after striking Asier Villalibre in the final minute.

The Argentine had been heavily involved in a more positive way as Barca took the lead five minutes before the break. Messi’s goalbound effort was blocked, falling to the feet of Antoine Griezmann, who netted the first of his two goals. Bilbao responded as Oscar De Marcos met Inaki Williams’ cross two minutes later to send the sides in level at halftime.

French forward Griezmann looked to have won it for the Catalans with a goal against the run of play 14 minutes from time, only for substitute Villalibre to volley home in the 90th minute to send the game into the extra period.

Three minutes into the additional half hour Williams curled a stunning effort into the far corner from the edge of the box to give Bilbao the lead for the first time in the tie. — Reuters



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