Ansu Fati had a night to forget for Barcelona on Wednesday at the Camp Nou against Espanyol in La Liga.
The 17-year-old was named on the substitutes’ bench for the clash but arrived at half-time as a substitute for Nelson Semedo with the game still goalless. However, the youngster lasted just four minutes of the clash before being sent off for a reckless challenge.
Fati was originally shown a yellow card for a high challenge on Fernando Calero but saw it upgraded to red by the referee after a VAR check:
Ansu Fati recorded just one touch of the ball before he was sent off for Barcelona against Espanyol.
He was on the field for just 4 minutes, 47 seconds. pic.twitter.com/lmK4BsWzY2
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) July 8, 2020
It’s the first red card of Fati’s fledging career and brings up an unwanted record for the teenager:
2 – With 17 years and 251 days, Ansu Fati is the second youngest player to be sent off in the 21st century in #LaLiga, second only to Marc Muniesa (also from #Barça) at 17 years and 57 days. Premature. pic.twitter.com/aR07C2URW0
— OptaJose (@OptaJose) July 8, 2020
Espanyol Also See Red
Fati’s sending off handed the advantage to Espanyol in the match but it didn’t last long, as the visitors were also reduced to 10 just minutes later.
Pol Lozano connected with Gerard Pique’s shin with an ugly tackle. The Espanyol midfielder was also shown a yellow card at first but was then given his marching orders after intervention by VAR.
— Fútbol en Movistar+ (@MovistarFutbol) July 8, 2020
A chaotic start to the second half then saw Barcelona break the deadlock just three minutes later through Luis Suarez. Lionel Messi saw a shot blocked and the ball fell kindly to the Uruguay international to slot home his 15th La Liga goal of the season.
Suarez’s goal also sees him move above László Kubala in the list of all-time Barcelona goalscorers and into third place. Only Lionel Messi and Cesar Rodriguez have scored more times for the Catalan giants than Suarez.
Barcelona Win Sends Espanyol Down
Barcelona saw the game out to win 1-0 and close the gap on leaders Real Madrid to one point although they have played a game more than their rivals. Los Blancos are back in action on Friday against Alaves.
The victory also confirms Espanyol’s relegation from La Liga and means they will be play in the second tier of Spanish football next season. It is the first time since 1994 that Espanyol have dropped out of the top flight.
Los Periquitos have had a dramatic season on and off the pitch. They have won only five matches in La Liga all season and appointed their fourth manager of the season, Francisco Rufete, in June in a last bid to try and escape the drop.