'He was a disaster!' - Xavi reveals who is to blame for Barcelona's Champions League exit

  • Barcelona eliminated from PSG 6-4 on aggregate after 4-1 loss at home on Tuesday
  • Ronald Araujo sent off for hosts when 1-0 up in second leg
  • Head coach Xavi bemoaned the performance of referee Istvan Kovacs
Xavi was furious with the manner of Barcelona's defeat
Xavi was furious with the manner of Barcelona's defeat / Pedro Salado/GettyImages

Barcelona head coach Xavi branded referee Istvan Kovacs a 'disaster' in the aftermath of their Champions League defeat to Paris Saint-Germain.

Having beaten PSG 3-2 in the first leg of their quarter-final last week, Barca were favourites to advance to the semi-finals. Their second got off to a brilliant start when Raphinha put them 1-0 up on the night.

However, Ronald Araujo was sent off for the hosts after 29 minutes for hauling down Bradley Barcola on the edge of the box as the last defender. Barcelona pleaded that contact was minimal and fellow centre-back Pau Cubarsi was there to cover him, but the red card stood even after a VAR review.

In the second half, Joao Cancelo conceded a penalty for a late tackle on Ousmane Dembele, while Ilkay Gundogan was denied a spot-kick at the other end after falling under a challenge from Vitinha.

Xavi and goalkeeping coach Jose Ramon de la Fuente also received red cards for continued and angry protestations on the touchlines. In his post-match press conference, the Barcelona boss unleashed his fury towards the referee.

Istvan Kovacs
Kovacs was at the centre of attention / Jean Catuffe/GettyImages

"We are annoyed, the red card marked the tie," Xavi began. "We were well organised [at] 11 vs 11. It completely changed everything. For me, it's too much to send [Araujo] off there.

"The referee was really bad. I told him, he was a disaster. He killed the tie. I don't like speaking about referees but it has to be said. I don't understand it.

"It's not good going down to 10 players and from that point on it's another game. For as much as we speak [about the match], the red card marks everything."

When asked about his own red card for dissent, Xavi admitted: "That was an error by me, it was my fault.

"It's just a shame that the hard work of an entire season ends because of one refereeing decision. I would have liked it to be 11 vs 11 for the whole game. It's an unnecessary red."