Barcelona lose Messi appeal

Messi was celebrating with his team-mates after Barca’s 94th-minute winner over Valencia when he was hit on the head by a bottle thrown from the stands at the Mestalla.

The Argentine was examined by a member of the visitors’ medical staff after the final whistle and did not appear to be injured, giving the thumbs-up as he walked off the pitch.

The referee said in his match report the card was shown because Messi “delayed his return to his half of the pitch after the goal was scored with the intention of wasting time”, and the RFEF’s competition committee has confirmed the appeal has been rejected.

Valencia have vowed to ban the bottle-throwing fan from their ground for life if the person is identified.??

Barcelona’s win kept them hard on the heels of league leaders Real Madrid who are two points clear at the top of the table after 13 matches following Saturday’s 2-1 win at Malaga. ??

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