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Lionel Messi hits out at referee after Argentina edge past Peru in World Cup qualifier

The Independent
The Independent
 2021-10-15

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Lionel Messi has hit out at Brazilian match official Wilton Sampaio following Argentina ’s 1-0 win over Peru.

The Albiceleste squeezed past Peru in the World Cup qualifier on the road to Qatar 2022 thanks to a goal from Lautaro Martinez .

But the Paris Saint-Germain superstar was upset at a number of contentious decisions made by Sampaio, which the 33-year-old insists were made “on purpose”.

“Difficult match, difficult to play. A lot of wind, they were playing deep, leaving little space for us,” Messi said.

“The referee always does this when he referees us, as if he does it on purpose. But well, three important points and we’re close to our objective.”

Messi will now return to club action, with Mauricio Pochettino’s side taking on Angers on Saturday night before hosting Leipzig in the Champions League on Tuesday.

While Lionel Scaloni was thrilled after extending Argentina’s unbeaten record to 25 games, a run only matched once previously in the country’s history by Alfio Basile.

And Scaloni insists there is more to come from the Copa America 2021 winners.

Scaloni said: “Today we felt a bit tired. Playing three games in South America is wearisome.

“We took it forward and got the three points, which is what we wanted.

“It was a very important game and there was tension for that. I do not think that Argentina was satisfied with the result.

“Peru played well, they are a very difficult opponent. Apart from the penalty incident, I think we controlled the game.”

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