BARCELONA • Luis Suarez was incredulous after being sent off in Barcelona's thrilling King's Cup semi-final second leg with Atletico Madrid, ruling him out of the final in May after playing a pivotal role in getting his team there.
The Uruguayan scored two of Barca's three goals in the semi-final, firing them to a 2-1 win in the first leg with a tremendous solo run as well as hitting the opener in Tuesday's 1-1 draw.
He was left livid when he was shown a second yellow card in the 90th minute for striking Atletico midfielder Koke in the face as he fought for an aerial ball.
"I'm laughing at that second yellow card, it's not even a foul," he told Gol TV after being sent off for Barca for the first time since joining the club from Liverpool in 2014.
"I did absolutely nothing. I hope the club will appeal it. It's something which cannot be explained, and the referee couldn't give me any explanation, as always, but we're already accustomed to this."
He was forced off with a hamstring injury in the second half of last year's Cup final, a 2-0 defeat of Sevilla. But he will play no part at all in the May showpiece against either Celta Vigo or Alaves, with Barcelona seeking to win the trophy for a record-extending 29th time.
USED TO THIS TREATMENT
I'm laughing at that second yellow card, it's not even a foul... It's something which cannot be explained, and the referee couldn't give me any explanation, as always...
LUIS SUAREZ, Barcelona striker, expressing disbelief over his controversial sending-off.
Defender Sergi Roberto, who was also sent off in the 57th minute for a second booking, will miss out too.
"I agree we should appeal the decision but if you look at the past you will see that appeals have proved no good for us," Barca coach Luis Enrique said. "It frustrates me when players on my team miss finals, but at the end of the day it's something which happens in football."
The coach, who has led Barca to the final of the King's Cup in each of his three seasons in charge, felt his side scarcely deserved to go through, with Atletico outplaying them for large parts of both games.
"It was tough and difficult, but we have to be very happy. Evidently not because of how we played, but because the team is continuing to make history," he added.
"We've made too many mistakes, we were pinned back and we didn't know how to get out. We didn't have quality when we were on the ball, but so much happened at the end I will have to analyse the game properly. But we have to improve."
The club said it would appeal against Suarez's second booking, as well as Sergio Busquets' yellow card. The latter is not suspended for the final, while Barca are not appealing against the decision to send off Roberto.
Atletico had a goal by Antoine Griezmann wrongly ruled out and saw Kevin Gameiro's penalty hit the bar before the latter levelled on the night seven minutes from time.
A great block from Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti was also required to divert Filipe Luis' goal-bound effort in stoppage time. It preserved Barca's record of not having lost a tie to anyone other than Real Madrid in the Cup since 2010.
Atletico manager Diego Simeone said: "We are out of the competition but have our heads held high and the strength that we have three fantastic months (ahead)."
REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE