Valverde bewildered by Lenglet red card as Barca boss questions VAR

Clement Lenglet's dismissal following a collision with Pere Pons left Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde baffled.

Barcelona captain Lionel Messi argues with the referee following the team's draw with Girona   -  Getty Images

Barcelona head coach Ernesto Valverde said he cannot understand the decision to send off defender Clement Lenglet after the use of the video assistant referee (VAR) in the team's 2-2 draw against Girona.

Lenglet – making his first LaLiga start since leaving Sevilla for champion Barca in the off-season – was shown a red card following a clash with Girona's Pere Pons at Camp Nou on Sunday.

The French defender saw red 10 minutes before half-time for the suspected use of an elbow after a VAR review, which left Valverde baffled.

"I didn't know in that incident with Lenglet they were going to ask VAR to decide about that," Valverde told reporters.

"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."

Valverde, whose Barca dropped points in LaLiga for the first time this season, added: "When I was watching the game live I thought the referee would look at the video with VAR not to book Lenglet, but maybe to give us something, to book the other player involved, maybe.

"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."

The player involved in the incident, Pons, said Lenglet's dismissal was unfair after apologising to the centre-back following the collision.

"We were both going 100 per cent for the ball and it's true I got hit but when I got up I said sorry to Lenglet and gave him my hand because we had been awarded the foul after we collided and at first I thought I had committed the foul," Pons told reporters.

"It was no-one's fault and in the end the person who decided was a third party, the VAR. I didn't notice the impact from his elbow."

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