Red Fury: Xavi Blames Controversial Ref after Barcelona’s UCL Exit


Barcelona’s dream of Champions League glory was shattered in dramatic fashion on Tuesday night, and their manager Xavi isn’t holding back on who he blames.

The Spanish giants crashed out after a 4-1 defeat to Paris Saint-Germain, but the tie truly turned on a controversial red card shown to defender Ronald Araújo in the first half.

Leading 3-2 on aggregate after a thrilling first leg, Barcelona started strong with an early goal.

However, the momentum shifted dramatically when Araújo was sent off for a seemingly innocuous challenge.  Xavi believes this decision by Romanian referee István Kovács was a “disaster” that “killed the tie.”

The red card undeniably altered the course of the match. Playing with a man down, Barcelona struggled to contain a rampant PSG attack.

Ousmane Dembélé, a former Barcelona player himself, added to the Catalans’ woes with a goal before halftime. The second half saw more punishment from the referee, with both Xavi and his goalkeeping coach receiving red cards.

Despite the numerical disadvantage, Barcelona nearly equalized but were denied by the woodwork. Kylian Mbappé then sealed the deal for PSG with two goals, including a penalty.

While PSG manager Luis Enrique acknowledges the red card’s impact, he maintains his team would have emerged victorious regardless. This loss marks a bitter end to Xavi’s tenure at Barcelona, as he announced his departure earlier this season.

The controversial officiating adds salt to the wound for Barcelona fans, leaving them to wonder what could have been with a more balanced match.

Red Fury: Xavi Blames Controversial Ref after Barcelona’s UCL Exit

Laura Wills

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