Barcelona finished the match against Spanish 3rd division side Villanovense with only 10 players on the pitch, despite no red card and substitutions being available.
Barcelona casually dismissed Villanovense by a scoreline of 6-1 in a match that saw youngsters Sandro Ramirez and Munir El Haddadi score a hat-trick and a brace respectively, and right-back Dani Alves open the scoring in the 4th minute.
But a strange feature of the match was that after Barca’s French defender Jeremy Mathieu going off the pitch and not being further involved in the game with 10 minutes to go, coach Luis Enrique decided to play the rest of the match with just 10 men as they were already 6-1 up — with Andres Iniesta, Luis Suarez and Neymar on the bench.
Luis Enrique explained after the match, according to goal.com: “I decided not to take a risk with Mathieu and those that were on the bench were cold and weren’t ready to go on. I am sorry if anyone felt offended, but I would do the same again.”
Big on goals, low on respect
The unprofessional decision taken by the manager was very insulting for the other team and Villanovense coach Julio Cobos said after the game. “It is perhaps a lack of respect. He will have his reasons, but if it had been 2-1, he would have made the change. I would made the substitution.”
This is the fourth match in a row in which Barcelona have scored 4 or more goals, having previously beaten Real Madrid and Real Sociedad 4-0 in La Liga and AS Roma 6-1 in the Champions League. But this recent action does not reflect well on the respect manager Luis Enrique has for other clubs.