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Copa America

Jul 3, 2019 at 1.30am UK
Brazil
2-0
Argentina
Jesus (19'), Firmino (71')
FT(HT: 1-0)
/esi/1339/6_G_1_93635/index.html?art_id=363676&game_id=93635&sport_id=1&ESI

Lionel Messi hits out at "bullshit" refereeing in Copa America semi-final

:Headline: Lionel Messi hits out at 'bullshit' refereeing in Copa America semi-final:
Brazil secured a 2-0 victory with goals from Gabriel Jesus and Roberto Firmino.
PA | 4mo

Lionel Messi accused the referee of bias after Argentina crashed out of the Copa America with a 2-0 semi-final loss to Brazil.

The Argentina captain felt a number of decisions went against his side in Belo Horizonte as goals from Gabriel Jesus and Roberto Firmino in each half put Brazil through to a final against Chile or Peru.

Messi was particularly aggrieved Argentina were not awarded a penalty by referee Roddy Zambrano immediately prior to Brazil's second goal but that was only one of a number of complaints.

Messi believed Argentina should have had a penalty for a foul on Aguero (left) (AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano)

The 32-year-old told reporters: "They were not better than us. They found the net early and the second goal came from a penalty they didn't award.

"The officiating was crazy. There were clear penalties, on (Nicolas) Otamendi, on 'Kun' (Sergio Aguero).

"He (the referee) was on their side. In every divided ball or dispute, he inclined the pitch their way.

"It's not an excuse, but the truth is that, in this Copa, they kept on blowing for stupid things, for handballs, penalties.

“He (the referee) was on their side. In every divided ball or dispute, he inclined the pitch their way”
- Lionel Messi

"But today, they didn't even go to VAR when there were clear plays that should have been looked at."

Despite the result, Messi was proud of his team-mates and believes there is a bright future ahead for the national side.

The Barcelona star said: "It was the best match we did in the Copa, against a Brazil that has spectacular players in all its lines.

"These guys made a huge sacrifice. They deserve respect. Argentina has the material to keep growing."

Gabriel Jesus opened the scoring for Brazil (Eugenio Savio/AP)

Brazil captain Dani Alves admitted his side had needed to dig deep to secure the result.

He said: "Argentina were a very difficult opponent. We needed to make a barbaric effort.

"It's one more step towards our goal. Everything we aimed for from the beginning we are fulfilling but we knew it would not be easy.

"I think many people doubted us but we have a lot of trust in our work."

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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool12111028101834
2Leicester CityLeicester128222982126
3Chelsea1282227171026
4Manchester CityMan City1281335132225
5Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd12453139417
6Arsenal124531617-117
7Manchester UnitedMan Utd124441612416
8Wolverhampton WanderersWolves123721615116
9Bournemouth124441515016
10Burnley124351718-115
11Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton124351517-215
12Crystal Palace124351016-615
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle124351118-715
14Tottenham HotspurSpurs123541817114
15Everton124261318-514
16West Ham UnitedWest Ham123451420-613
17Aston Villa123271720-311
18Watford12156823-158
19Southampton122281129-188
20Norwich CityNorwich122191128-177
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