Lionel Messi was sent off for violent conduct as Athletic Bilbao stunned Barcelona to win the Spanish Super Cup on Sunday, a dramatic final finishing 3-2 after extra-time.
Moments before Bilbao’s momentous triumph was confirmed, Messi lashed out at Asier Villalibre, who had earlier scored a 90th-minute equaliser in normal time to deny Barca victory.
Antoine Griezmann’s double looked to have sealed the trophy for Barcelona but Villalibre intervened before Inaki Williams’ fabulous strike three minutes into extra time proved decisive.
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It was the first time Messi was sent off in 753 matches for Barca.
Messi had previously been sent off twice during games for Argentina, with one coming in a friendly against Hungary in 2005 while the other was in the Copa America against Chile in 2019.
It was a shock defeat for Barcelona, with Ronald Koeman admitting in the post-game press conference that the team was “down” after the one-goal defeat.
“We are down, disappointed. But we have to keep going on this path. Today we showed there are things we have improved, other things we still need to improve, especially defensively,” he said, per The Athletic’s Dermot Corrigan.
“The future is bright as we are changing a lot in this team. We have young players who will learn from this. We conceded goals at end of both halves, which is really difficult to handle.”