Barcelona launch Lenglet red card appeal

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The centre-back was dismissed for a flailing elbow but the club have sought to have the decision overturned

Barcelona have confirmed that they have launched an appeal following Clement Lenglet’s red card against Girona on Sunday.

The Catalans were held to a surprise 2-2 draw by their local rivals at Camp Nou but were leading 1-0 when the French centre-back, making just his second appearance for the club, was dismissed 10 minutes before the break.

Cristian Stuani levelled Lionel Messi’s earlier strike for the guests before notching another six minutes after the interval. Gerard Pique saved Barcelona’s unbeaten record but the hosts were unable to salvage their perfect start to the season.

Lenglet’s red card, however, was seen as a major point of controversy, and they have launched a bid to have it overturned.

A statement from the club read: “FC Barcelona will present their case to the Competition Committee regarding the red card that player Clement Lenglet saw in the 34th minute of the match played this Sunday with Girona. 

“The French defender was dismissed after the intervention of VAR and according to the referee was sent off for ‘giving a blow with the elbow to the face of an opponent when both were disputing a ball’.”

Barcelona’s players and staff were quick to defend their team-mate.

“Maybe there was contact, you can see it in the pictures, but the ball was on the ground,” Sergio Busquets said in the game’s aftermath.

“It's a natural movement that does it, it's not aggression.”

Head coach Ernesto Valverde was of a similar opinion.

“The red card changed the game,” he lamented. “I’ve not seen the replays on television, but it would be the first red card in which the player who was fouled asks for forgiveness.

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“I suppose that VAR did justice but I’ve got a feeling that this shouldn’t have been a red card. There may have been some contact, but I don’t think he did it deliberately.”

If Lenglet’s ban is not overturned, Barca will have to do without the former Sevilla defender for their midweek trip to face Leganes and potentially forthcoming fixtures against Athletic Bilbao and Valencia, depending on how severely the action is treated by the Competition Committee.

Despite their weekend draw, Barca continue to top La Liga, ahead of Real Madrid on goal difference.