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Valencia Defender Kicks Dead Ball at Real Madrid’s Vinicius Jr

Last Updated: May 23, 2023, 00:02 IST

Real Madrid’s Vinicius Jr (Reuters)

Eray Comert deliberately kicked a second ball at Vinicius to thwart the winger from entering the penalty box

The La Liga match between Real Madrid and Valencia was in the headlines for quite a few reasons. Valencia defenders resorted to some bizarre tactics to stop Vinicius Jr, known for his breakneck speed. Swiss centre-back Eray Comert deliberately kicked a second ball at Vinicius to thwart the winger from entering the penalty box. Comert’s baffling act infuriated Vinicius and his Real teammates. The match referee brandished a yellow card to Comert but it could hardly pacify Real Madrid players.

More drama unfolded towards the end of the match after Vinicius Jr was at the receiving end of racial slurs. Vincius promptly pointed towards the offenders resulting in the game being stopped for 10 minutes. Vinicius later got involved in an altercation with Valencia footballers. He was shown a red card for slapping Valencia forward Hugo Duro in the stoppage time. “It was not the first time, nor the second, nor the third. Racism is normal in LaLiga. The competition considers it normal, the federation considers it normal and the rivals encourage it,” Vinicius wrote on Twitter.

“If any hate crime is identified, we will take the appropriate legal action,” La Liga said in its official statement.

The crowd at the Mestalla were warned that the match could be called off if their behaviour did not change. The match, however, went on. With Valencia midfielder Diego Lopez finding the back of the net in the 33rd minute, the hosts managed to beat Real Madrid 1-0.

The defeat leaves Real Madrid at the third spot in the La Liga standings. Los Blancos are currently three points behind arch-rivals Atletico Madrid in the Spanish domestic league tally. Carlo Ancelotti’s men came into the contest after facing a Champions League exit in the semi-finals at the hands of Manchester City. Meanwhile, the win propelled Valencia to the 13th spot on the La Liga points table.

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