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17th Nov 2021

Otamendi violently elbows Raphinha before hurling him up from the ground

Callum Boyle

Otamendi wasn’t even shown a card despite leaving Raphinha bloodied from the challenge

Former Manchester City defender Nicolas Otamendi was lucky to escape without a red card after he violently elbowed Raphinha in Argentina’s World Cup qualifier against Brazil.

The game itself wasn’t much to write about, with the result ending in a goalless draw, but as expected it was fireworks on the pitch as seven yellow cards were dished out between both teams.

But despite arguably committing the worst foul of the game, Otamendi was not one of those to receive a caution.

As the 33-year-old battled with Raphinha to win the ball, Otamendi caught the Leeds United winger in the face, causing the 24-year-old to fall to the floor as blood poured from his upper lip.

Otamendi had no room for sympathy though as the Benfica defender proceeded to then grab Raphinha and hurl him up the floor – much to the anger of the Brazilian.

Despite his understandable frustration and protests towards the referee to look into the decision, VAR deemed the challenge fair and therefore Otamendi wasn’t cautioned.

However it appears that both the referee and VAR official should have sent Otamendi off and both have now been suspended indefinitely after failing spot the Argentine’s elbowed challenge.

The damage done to Raphinha was clear to see, with the winger having to play with cotton wool in his mouth in order to stop the flow of blood.

Otamendi is well-renowned for his antics on the pitch and is a sucker for winding up opposition players. The 33-year-old got up to his usual tricks earlier in the game too as he was caught bumping into Real Madrid’s Vinicius Jr. for what seemed like no other reason other than he just could.

The 0-0 draw between the two means that Argentina secured their passage to the World Cup in Qatar next year after other results went in their favour.

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