Espanyol keeper escapes red despite vicious stamp on Messi in ill-tempered cup game
You know it’s a bad-tempered match when Espanyol had two men sent off in their 1-4 loss to Barcelona at the Camp Nou.
But you know it’s no ordinary heated game when Barca coach Luis Enrique compared the opponents’ roughhouse tactics to the NFL, and the Barca players waited for the Espanyol players in the locker room after the final whistle.
The match, which was the first leg of their Copa del Rey last-16 tie, was also the second of three Barcelona derbies in 11 days.
There was one incident which the Espanyol goalkeeper Pau Lopez stamped on Barca star Lionel Messi’s ankle, but escaped a second booking.
No wonder Enrique was fuming at the opponents and the referee as well.
He said after the game: “The referees are the ones to set the limits.
“They are responsible for ensuring this is football and not American football.”