Messi Sent Off As Bilbao Win Super Cup

Messi Sent Off As Bilbao Win Super Cup

Lionel Messi was sent off for lashing out at Asier Villalibre as Barcelona were beaten 3-2 by Athletic Bilbao in the Spanish Super Cup final on Sunday.

Messi was sent off for the first time in his Barcelona career late in extra-time in Seville, as Inaki William’s winner three minutes into extra-time gave Athletic Bilbao victory.

Antoine Griezmann scored a brace for Ronald Koeman’s side, but a resilient Bilbao, which stunned Real Madrid in the semi-finals crept back to force the match into extra time.

The former Athletico Madrid man put Barcelona ahead on 40 minutes, before Oscar de Marcos’ leveller two minutes later. Griezmann thought he’d won it for Barca with 13 minutes remaining, but Villalibre’s leveller on 90 minutes set up the extra period.

The match was a cagey affair in the opening half, with few clear chances from both sides.

The first clear cut chance fell to Barcelona in the 37th minute as Messi collected a wonderful lead pass and smashed a terrific shot from long range, but his effort went painfully close to the crossbar.

It did not take long though for Messi and company to take the lead, and it came courtesy of Griezmann, who reacted quickest to a rebound ball after the Argentine’s attempt was blocked, and he fired in the opener.

The lead lasted less than a minute as Bilbao equalised in the 42nd minute after Oscar de Marcos managed to latch on to an Inaki Williams cross, and he found the back of the net for a 1-1 scoreline going into the break.

The match came to life in the second period with Barcelona on the front foot. They should have doubled their lead in the 52nd minute but Messi missed a great chance.

Messi sees red as Bilbao win Super Cup | Bunbury Herald
Messi receives red card

Bilbao then responded and found the back of the net, but their celebrations were short-lived as a VAR check ruled out the goal for offside.

Koeman’s men then scored what they thought could give them the title in the 77th minute after Jordi Alba teed up Griezmann inside the box and he rolled the ball past Unai Simon to put them 2-1 up.

Just like the first half, Bilbao equalised deep in injury time as a cross from a free-kick was whipped deep into the box by Iker Muniain and Asier Villalibre got in a shot, sending the ball into the top of the net.

There was no winner in regulation time, forcing the match into extra time, and it was Inaki Williams who scored the winner after making himself some space on the edge of the penalty area before pulling the trigger, which found its way into the net off the post.

It got worse for Barcelona as Messi was shown a red-card late on, meaning he will miss the club’s next domestic assignment.

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