Ernesto Valverde has defended centre-back Clement Lenglet after he was sent off on his first start for Barcelona against Girona on Sunday at the Camp Nou.
The Barcelona boss said he did not expect VAR to be used to check the incident in which Lenglet clashed with Pere Pons. He also did not think his defender deserved a red card.
“I didn’t know in that incident with Lenglet they were going to ask VAR to decide about that,” he said.
”It was a bit of a surprise for me. In the end we thought that VAR is to solve the huge problems, where the referee might be accused by the media of a mistake, but in other situations, for instance the Real Sociedad foul on the halfway line.
”I think the system is taking shape, but we are trying to come to terms with VAR.”
”I was really surprised by the final decision of the referee. I struggle to think it was Lenglet’s fault. Perhaps he was trying to protect himself, but it was never an elbow.
”The other player clashed with him. Even the Girona player, Pere Pons, tried to apologise to Lenglet. For me, it’s never a sending off, but I see it through the eyes of my team.”
Source | FourFourTwo
The decision to dismiss Lenglet had a big bearing on the match, as Girona came back to take the lead from 1-0 down, before Gerard Pique rescued a point.