Lionel Messi victim of horror red card tackle before pitch invader rushes to hug Argentina ace in 3-1 win over Venezuela
LIONEL MESSI was the victim of a horror red card tackle as Argentina beat Venezuela 3-1 in Caracas last night.
The Paris Saint-Germain star was playing for his country for the first time since making the switch to France.
But he received the same rough treatment as before.
The 34-year-old was the subject of a horrendous tackle by Venezuelan substitute Adrian Martinez, who had been on the pitch for under five minutes.
Martinez lunged in with his studs raised, nastily catching Messi on his shin.
The referee initially only awarded a yellow card before upgrading it to a red following a VAR review.
Being a man up sparked Argentina into life, with Lautaro Martinez giving Lionel Scaloni's side the lead on the stroke of half-time.
Joaquin Correa and Angel Correa made the points safe in the second 45 before Yeferson Soteldo bagged a cheeky panenka penalty for Venezuela late on.
JOIN SUN VEGAS: GET A FREE £10 BONUS WITH 100s OF GAMES TO PLAY AND NO DEPOSIT REQUIRED (Ts&Cs apply)
Despite not having his best ever game in an Argentina shirt, Messi was still greeted with adulation at the end, even being hugged by a pitch invader.
The 3-1 win sees Argentina remain unbeaten in seven qualification matches for next year's World Cup in Qatar – although they trail leaders Brazil by six points.
They will have the opportunity to cut that gap to three on Sunday, however, when they play the Selecao in Sao Paulo.
Tite's men will be chasing revenge after losing the summer's Copa America final to their bitter rivals.
⚽ Read our Transfer news live blog for the very latest rumours, gossip and done deals
Source: Read Full Article