Sergio Busquets accused referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz of seeking cheap heroism following Barcelona’s 2-0 win at Espanyol on Saturday.
Mateu Lahoz showed Jordi Alba two straight yellow cards for protesting at a decision to award Los Periquitos a goal kick in the 54th minute of the Catalan derby, but the midfielder believes the official deliberately chose to be the centre of attention.
“[Seeing the title out] will be difficult because we have tough opponents like Real Madrid on our trail,” he said after the match.
“Physically we’re fine. We have many games coming up, but the team are in good shape.
“We were much better in the first half. The red card meant we had less of the ball and took some time [in readjusting ourselves], but the most important thing was getting the three points.
“[Alba’s] second yellow was absurd but I know Mateu [Lahoz]. He wanted to be the leading guy and he succeeded [in doing so].
“Only the best teams reach the Champions League semi-finals, so the level is very high.”