Less than one month after his first ever club red card, Lionel Messi was involved in another heated incident during Barcelona’s 2-0 defeat away at Sevilla in the Copa del Rey on Wednesday night.
The legendary Argentine forward, who was sent off during January’s Spanish Super Cup final against Athletic Bilbao for hitting out at Asier Villalibre, left Sevilla’s Joan Jordan on the ground holding his face - but did he actually make contact with his elbow?
Many football fans on social media believe so. Some think Messi was fortunate to avoid another straight red card.
The incident happened midway through the second half as Barça trailed 1-0 following Jules Kounde’s first-half strike.
Ivan Rakitic then rubbed further salt into his former club's wounds by netting a late second goal at the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán.
Back to Messi, and this was the moment the 33-year-old left Jordan holding his face…
Jordan, who had just been on the receiving end of a nutmeg from Messi, had the ball in his hands as he attempted to prevent Barcelona from taking a quick free-kick.
Messi, keen to resume play as quickly as possible, knocked the ball out of Jordan’s hands, putting his arm across the midfielder in the process.
Jordan then went down holding his face in front of referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz.
Rather than punishing Messi, though, it was Jordan who received a yellow card for the incident, to the disbelief of many on social media…
Based on this particular footage, Messi was lucky to avoid a yellow card at the very least.
However, another angle suggests Jordan may well have exaggerated the contact in an attempt to get his superstar opponent sent off.
If true, Mateu clearly made the correct decision. But it’s difficult to say with any real certainty.
In any case, this is another example of Messi allowing frustration to get the better of him.
The South American has always been a fierce competitor but, for whatever reason, he seems to be at the centre of this type of controversy more frequently as he gets older.