David Villa was sent off in a pre-season friendly after the referee used touchline video technology to watch the Spanish striker punch an opponent in the face.
The incident happened during a match between New York City FC and Houston Dynamo ahead of the 2017 MLS season. With the score tied at 1-1 thanks to Villa’s early goal, and with Andrea Pirlo about to take a corner, the former Barcelona forward clashed with AJ DeLaGarza.
The Houston defender immediately hit the deck, clutching at his face as the referee brought the game to a halt. Villa was initially show a yellow card and Houston awarded a free-kick. But just as it looked like play was about to get back under way, the referee blew his whistle and signalled a box shape with his hands.
He then ran over to the touchline and watched the incident back on a monitor, using VAR (video assistant referee). Almost four minutes passed while the referee consulted with his assistants – meanwhile both sets of players congregated in the middle of the pitch.
The official then made his way back onto the pitch and once again signalled the box shape with his hands before showing Villa a red card. The former Spain striker continued to protest with the fourth official on the touchline, before eventually taking a seat on the bench.
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Read the original article on Eurosport: VIDEO: David Villa PUNCHES opponent in face, ref uses video technology, sends him off