Barcelona 1-4 PSG (4-6 agg): Xavi unhappy with ‘really bad’ referee on chaotic night


Barcelona had a two-goal aggregate lead and were seemingly in control in Spain until it all turned to chaos. A “disaster performance” from the referee, “panic” from Barcelona’s players and “an unnecessary expulsion” were all blamed on a dramatic Tuesday evening at Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys as Paris St-Germain ran out 4-1 winners.

Barcelona centre-back Ronald Araujo’s sending off turned the tide in their Champions League quarter-final as PSG came from 3-2 down in the first leg to win the tie 6-4 on aggregate. A double from Kylian Mbappe, a long-range strike from Vitinha and an Ousmane Dembele goal against his former club sent Barcelona spiralling out of control – and out of the competition.

As Barcelona turned in a performance riddled with mistakes, referee Istvan Kovacs had a busy evening. The Romanian showed three red cards to the hosts – manager Xavi’s frustrations getting the better of him, before a member of his coaching staff was dismissed for dissent. That only compounded the damage done by Araujo’s red-card inducing challenge on Bradley Barcola early in the first half.

“The referee was really bad. I told him his performance was a disaster. I don’t like to talk about referees, but it had a clear impact in the season and it has to be said,” Xavi told Movistar Plus.

“We are very upset and angry because the red card was the decisive factor in the match. With 11, we were in a good position, playing well and in command. “It’s too much to flash a red card in a game like this. There was another game after that… It is a pity that the work of the season was ruined by an unnecessary expulsion.”


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