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Sevilla's Jules Kounde sent off for throwing the ball at Barcelona defender during LaLiga draw
22/12/2021 11:21:01

Sevilla's Jules Kounde had a moment to forget in Tuesday night's 1-1 draw with Barcelona as the Frenchman was bizarrely sent off for throwing a ball at Jordi Alba's face.

The 23-year-old was tussling for the ball with Alba and Barcelona youngster Gavi near the touchline when both players appeared to bump the defender in the back, which left Kounde furious with his opponents.

Despite Kounde winning the throw-in, the Sevilla man then chucked the ball at Alba which hit the Spaniard on the shoulder, with the Barcelona defender going to ground while clutching his face.

With both the referee and his linesman having a clear view of the incident, on-pitch official Carlos del Cerro Grande took no time to produce the red card, which meant Sevilla had to spend the last half an hour a man short.

It was a bizarre piece of ill-discipline from Kounde, who picked up only the second red card of his career on Tuesday night through the Alba incident.

The incident cost Julen Lopetegui's Sevilla in their title aspirations, with the dropped points at home - meaning Real Madrid now have a five-point lead at the top of LaLiga on Christmas Day.

It was Lopetegui's side who took the lead in the first-half when Alejandro 'Papu' Gomez swept home Ivan Rakitic's free-kick following a clever routine from the home side.

But the rain-soaked Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium was silenced just before half-time when Ronald Araujo glanced in a header from Ousmane Dembele's whipped corner.

Barcelona tried to take the initiative after Kounde's shock red card but Xavi's side saw several chances fall agonisingly wide of the goal in the second period.

Dembele cut inside on his favoured left only to fire an effort just a coat of paint past the far post, before midfielder Gavi headed wide from inside the six-yard box just minutes later.

Barcelona No 7 Dembele had another nail-biting moment when he struck the post after another cut inside on his left, before Alba fired straight at Sevilla goalkeeper Bono with the last kick of the game.

In drawing at Sevilla, Xavi's Barcelona missed the chance to move into the top four for the first time since August, but did move up to seventh with their point away from home.

It also means the Catalans have won just once in their last four league games and their gap to the top four could stretch to five points should fifth-placed Atletico Madrid win at Granada on Wednesday.

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