Xavi: Araujo's dismissal was unnecessary

Barcelona head coach Xavi Hernandez said the referee's decision to send off Ronald Araujo in the Champions League quarter-final second leg with Paris Saint-Germain was "unnecessary" and ended the Catalans' hopes of a place in the semi-finals.

Araujo headed for the dressing rooms in the 29th minute for bringing down Bradley Barcola on the edge of the penalty area, with Barca leading 4:2 on aggregate at the time. After the red card, the Blaugrana's task became immensely more difficult and this was reflected after the break as PSG cruised to a 4:1 win at Montjuic to progress to the last four 6:4 on aggregate.

"It's a shame that everything we've worked for all season ends here because of a referee's decision. This dismissal is unnecessary", Xavi told Movistar. The coach of Barcelona and a former player of the club himself received a red card. He criticized the head referee from Romania Istvan Kovacs. "The referee was very weak, I told him he didn't understand the game", continued the coach of the Catalans.

Araujo's dismissal forced Xavi to replace 16-year-old talent Lamine Yamal, who was largely responsible for Rafinha's opener. Central defender Inigo Martinez appeared from the bench. "We are angry because the red card tipped the scales in one direction, it practically decided the clash. We were well organised, for me it is too much to show a red card in this situation - from then on the opponent dominated. We were hesitant to replace Lamine, he was doing very well - that moment definitely decided who would progress", Xavi concluded.

The Catalans face another edition of El Clasico against La Liga leaders Real Madrid on Sunday night. Barca are eight points behind Real. /BGNES