Ronald Araujo was quick to repent for his actions during the Catalan derby on Sunday, which ended in a 2-2 draw between FC Barcelona and RCD Espanyol. The Barcelona player was caught making a controversial gesture towards the home fans just after Nico Melamed was sent off in the closing minutes of the match.

Melamed found himself receiving double yellow cards after clashing with Barca veteran Gerard Pique, who also ended up seeing red. Referee Alejandro Hernandez Hernandez made the decision to send off the two players, and Araujo was seen flashing two fingers to the crowd. According to Marca, the gesture was meant to mock the home fans by implying that Espanyol would find themselves in he second division next season.

Araujo took to social media to post an apology shortly after the conclusion of the match.

— Ronald Araujo (@RonaldAraujo_4) February 14, 2022

In his post written in Spanish, Araujo said, "I want to apologise to all the people of Espanyol for the unfortunate gesture I made tonight. Everything was the result of the tension experienced during a derby such as the one played today."

"I consider myself a person who respects fans and rival clubs and that is why I am not proud of what happened," he concluded.

Right after the match, manager Xavi Hernandez was asked about the controversial gesture during his press conference. He admitted that he did not personally see it, but apologised on behalf of his player for any wrongdoing.

"We have to respect the opponent, the referee, the rival fans. We always have to be respectful, but the tension can get to you sometimes," he said. "But, I apologise. If that happened, it can't happen."

The incident will surely be reviewed by Barcelona management as well as the La Liga disciplinary committee and it remains to be seen if any further action will be taken against Araujo. For now, Barcelona are more concerned about the possibility of losing fourth place on the table after that draw. They now stand level with Atletico Madrid on 39 points.

Xavi Hernandez
Xavi Hernandez AFP / KARIM JAAFAR