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Barca women's boss accuses Rayo player of racism; Rayo say claim an 'unacceptable lie'

With Real Madrid back in the picture, the ESPN FC crew assess the chances Barcelona will relinquish their six-point advantage.

Barcelona's women's team manager Lluis Cortes and forward Andressa Alves have alleged racist abuse from a Rayo Vallecano player following Alves' sending off on Sunday, a claim Rayo have strongly denied.

Alves was shown a red card in the second half after reacting aggressively to a foul by Sheila Garcia, with several players having to hold her back.

Speaking after the game, Cortes claimed Alves had reacted as she did because she had been subjected to racist abuse by the Rayo player.

"Racism is a very serious problem which we need to eradicate from the game," Cortes said. "People need to understand that. We all have to try and make sure this doesn't happen any more."

But Rayo responded by alleging that Cortes and Alves had made up the story to cover for the player's aggressive reaction.

"We categorically deny that racist insults were directed at Barcelona player Andressa Alves," the club said in a statement. "In the images of the incident, you can observe perfectly that after Sheila accidentally catches her legs, her immediate reaction is disproportionately violent.

"This happens around a metre away from the referee, who didn't hear anything and for that reason did not write in her report that there were any insults directed at Alves. What's more, this act of violence, which was excessive and unjustified, resulted in the sending off of the Barcelona player and only the intervention of other players prevented things from getting even worse.

"[Alves] even went to the referee's dressing room after the match to try to justify her violence with an unacceptable lie against another player, lying about an issue as sensitive as racism."

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