Barcelona will have to cope without center-back Clement Lenglet for Sunday’s tricky La Liga clash against Sevilla after he was sent off against Celta Vigo.
The France international was handed his marching orders just before half-time after picking up his second yellow card of the match.
4 – Clement Lenglet has been sent off four times in all competitions since signing for Barcelona, more than any other @LaLigaEN player since 2018/2019 season. The French defender never saw a red card for @SevillaFC_ENG. Risks#celtabarcelona #CeltaBarca pic.twitter.com/ZWR8L7Om2T
— OptaJose (@OptaJose) October 1, 2020
Lenglet will now be automatically banned for Barcelona’s next match against his former side which will be a big blow to manager Ronald Koeman who lacks options at center-back.
The Frenchman and Gerard Pique are Barcelona’s first-choice options in the heart of the defence, but Koeman will have to make a change to his team. Ronald Araujo is the most likely option to replace Lenglet in the starting XI.
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Controversy at Celta
Lenglet’s sending off came after Pique had also seen red for pulling back Iago Aspas when he was through on goal. Fortunately for Barcelona the sending off was cancelled as Aspas had been offside.
Yet Lenglet had no such luck. His first booking came after he fouled Gabriel Veiga just outside the penalty area, and his second was awarded after he tangled with Denis Suárez.
The referee’s decision came under the spotlight:
Very little in that from Lenglet – very, very harsh second yellow.
— Dermot Corrigan (@dermotmcorrigan) October 1, 2020
Del Cerro Grande showing Lenglet off. Not too sure he's having the best of time as of late, the Spanish referee.
— Jonas Giæver (@CheGiaevara) October 1, 2020
Lenglet right to be put out over that call. Wow.
— kevinwilliams (@kevvwill) October 1, 2020
Pique, captain Lionel Messi and manager Koeman were captured in deep discussions with the referee at half-time, no doubt making their frustrations at the decision quite plain.
Barcelona Short of Defenders
Koeman sent on Araujo after Lenglet’s sending off to bolster the backline, and the 21-year-old is likely to keep his place in the team for the visit of Sevilla.
Barcelona don’t have too many other defensive options currently. Koeman omitted both Samuel Umtiti and Jean-Clair Todibo from his squad for the trip to Celta, and it’s unclear if either player is in his plans for the future.
Barcelona B’s Santiago Ramos Mingo was included in the squad for the Celta clash and could come into contention for Sunday’s match. However, the 18-year-old lacks experience and is yet to make his debut for the senior side.
The Catalan giants could also dip into the transfer market. Barca have been heavily linked with a move for Manchester City’s Eric Garcia and may step up their efforts now.