Jules Koundé Earns Straight Red Card For Smashing Jordi Alba In The Face
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Over the last five seasons in LaLiga, Sevilla has finished fourth three times — including last campaign with a club-record total of 77 points — without ever looking like a genuine title challenger.
Heading into Tuesday's clash with struggling Barcelona at the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán in Seville — where a win would cut Real Madrid's lead at the top to just three points — the club still refused to consider the possibility of a first LaLiga title since 1946.
"On each occasion when I ventured the idea that Atlético Madrid and Barcelona were in serious transition mode, then added that Real Madrid were stronger but lacked sufficient goals to make them a shoo-in for the title, faces blanked over and eyebrows were raised in a 'do not mention this subject' manner," wrote Graham Hunter in a recent ESPN article detailing Sevilla's need to believe.
32 minutes into the Barça match, it looked like Sevilla had its watershed moment thanks to a brilliant finish from Papu Gómez.
Papu Gomez gives Sevilla the lead against Barcelona pic.twitter.com/bCo1NxTdTP— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) December 21, 2021
However, just before halftime, Ronald Araújo brought Barcelona level with a towering header.
Barcelona get the equalizer pic.twitter.com/CV1KB4Wx2g— ESPN+ (@ESPNPlus) December 21, 2021
Sevilla's opportunity to put pressure on Real Madrid was then completely imploded in the 64th minute after Jules Koundé was handed a straight red for chucking the ball into Jordi Alba's face.
This isn't how you go about believing.
Jules Kounde gets a straight red for throwing the ball at Jordi Alba's face pic.twitter.com/SjLC6yTdHv— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) December 21, 2021
Despite Gavi going into laceless mode, Barcelona couldn't find a winner.
Sevilla is five points back of Real while Barcelona is seventh and still out of the European places.