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Xavi blasts referee after Barcelona's 4-1 loss to PSG

FC Barcelona lost 4-1 to Paris Saint-Germain in the UEFA Champions League, their coach, Xavi Hernandez, called the referee a “disaster” and attacked his decision to send defender Ronald Araujo off. Araujo was given a red card by Romanian referee Istvan Kovacs in the 29th minute of play for a last-man challenge on Bradley Barcola. […]

Xavi slams referee as 'Disaster' after Barcelona's 4-1 loss to PSG in Champions League
Xavi slams referee as 'Disaster' after Barcelona's 4-1 loss to PSG in Champions League

FC Barcelona lost 4-1 to Paris Saint-Germain in the UEFA Champions League, their coach, Xavi Hernandez, called the referee a “disaster” and attacked his decision to send defender Ronald Araujo off.

Araujo was given a red card by Romanian referee Istvan Kovacs in the 29th minute of play for a last-man challenge on Bradley Barcola. Xavi claimed that this ended the second leg of the quarterfinal.

Barcelona had a 1-0 lead before the red card, but when they were reduced to 10 men, the game took a dramatic turn. Ousmane Dembele netted a goal and Kylian Mbappe netted two to lead PSG to a 4-1 victory and a 6-4 victory overall on his return to Barcelona.

Xavi expressed frustration and disappointment over the outcome of the match, citing the red card incident as a turning point that impacted the entire game. He emphasized the importance of maintaining an 11 vs. 11 setup, stating that the red card changed the dynamics significantly. Xavi criticized the referee's decisions, calling them a disaster and expressing his disbelief over the turn of events. He acknowledged his own error in getting sent off for protesting a penalty decision but maintained that the referee's actions heavily influenced the game's outcome.

“We are annoyed. The red card marked the tie. We were well organized 11 vs. 11. It completely changed everything. For me, it's too much to send [Araujo] off there,” Xavi stated as quoted from ESPN.

He also added “The referee was really bad. I told him, he was a disaster. He killed the tie. I don't like speaking about referees but it has to be said. I don't understand it. It's not good going down to 10 players and from that point on it's another game. For as much as we speak [about the match], the red card marks everything,”.

Barcelona had opportunities to level the aggregate score and even take the lead before the red card incident, but missed chances and bad luck contributed to their downfall. Xavi lamented that the hard work of the entire season was overshadowed by one refereeing decision and expressed regret that the match didn't play out with both teams having a full complement of players throughout.

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FC BarcelonaPSGUEFA Champions LeagueXavi Hernandez