Did Malaga's Weligton really chokeslam Messi?
Thursday morning's (Singapore time) goalless draw between Barcelona and Malaga was, by most accounts, an uneventful affair.
Having just won Barca a corner towards the end of the match, a presumably frustrated Lionel Messi allegedly called Malaga defender a "son of a b***h".
Needless to say, the Brazilian was not impressed, sparking off a controversial flashpoint.
You can see the incident for yourself here:
It's certainly a shocking incident, but what perplexes me is how the incident has been reported.
The headline on the Mail Online's story said that Weligton grabbed Messi "by throat and throws him to ground" while a quick search on YouTube for the incident will yield several clips describing it as a "horror" foul.
In fact, the Mail went as far as to say that Weligton "strangled" Messi in their summary for the match report.
I'm not defending Weligton - in fact, I think referee Alejandro Hernandez was being extremely lenient for only showing him a yellow card instead of a straight red - but just look at the video again.
The centre-back clearly wraps his hand around Messi's cheeks before shoving him to the ground. Not this:
...although I'll admit I was hoping for something resembling a chokeslam. Who doesn't like a bit of drama with their football?
In fact, the way Weligton grabs Messi reminds me of a brother telling his sibling to shut up and stop calling him names before pushing him to the ground in frustration.
Maybe that's why Hernandez gave a yellow card instead of a red - the bickering duo might have reminded him of his kids fighting at home, prompting the official to approach the incident without reaching for the overkill button...
Sources: Mail Online, YouTube
Related report: Barca held to goalless draw by Malaga