FC Barcelona might have comprehensively beaten Sevilla in their LaLiga encounter on Sunday, but it certainly did not end well with the Catalans. Two of their players were sent off in the injury time within a space of just about one minute. While debutant Ronald Araujo was sent off for a rash challenge, Osumane Dembele was shown a red card for a reported dissent against the referee.
With Barcelona about to win the match, their talismanic captain Lionel Messi did not want his team to end with nine men. He tried his best to convince the referee that the 22-year old winger was not guilty. Messi tried to explain the referee that Dembele cannot speak Spanish.
“If he doesn’t know how to speak, if he can’t speak,” Messi is understood to have told the referee, further adding, ”he said very badly, very badly.”
Defender Gerard Pique also came out to defend the former Dortmund winger. “The red cards? It’s the referee’s decision,” he told reporters after the match. “Everyone has their opinion. I’ve seen a pretty clean game.
“I don’t know what Dembele may have said to the referee but I don’t think it’s a long sentence because it’s hard to hear him speak Spanish.”
? — Messi tried to save Dembélé by telling the referee that Ousmane cannot express himself in Spanish.
Messi (to Lahoz): “He can’t speak.”[marca] pic.twitter.com/FJPSj34ZXd
— Barca Universal (@BarcaUniversal) October 8, 2019
Dembele will now miss Barca’s trip to Eibar and is at risk of sitting out the Clasico too due to suspension. The length of his ban yet to be confirmed, but he could be hit with a two-match suspension for insulting the referee.
As for the other man sent off sixty seconds prior to Dembele, he was still trying to absorb his 14th minute in a senior Barcelona jersey.
“I’m really happy, it’s a dream for me, you always dream when you are little of making your debut especially for the first team,” Araujo said after the match.
Though he felt he did not commit any foul, he seemed to have got over it and feel good about making a senior debut.
“I’ll have to look at it again, but it’s not a foul for me. I put my arm in but it’s shoulder to shoulder and he went over,” he said. “It’s the ref’s decision, but it’s not really going to spoil my debut so I’m happy.”