Villarreal boss Marcelino has rubbished the notion that Barcelona were to blame for the poor level of officiating in Sunday’s 2-2 draw at El Madrigal.
The Yellow Submarine came back from two goals down to earn a creditable draw with the Catalans and move six points clear in the race for La Liga’s fourth and final Champions League place, but the match was overshadowed by Jose Maria Sanchez Martinez’s failure to send off Gerard Pique for a clear handball and decision to award Neymar a controversial penalty.
“It was a great match and I think we deserved to win,” the Coach said after the game.
“We deserve a lot of credit for what the players did. Overall, we were superior to Barcelona
“We scored two legal goals and came back, and I’m very proud of this team.
“[The poor refereeing] has nothing to do with Barca. Sometimes players make mistakes, sometimes Coaches and [on Sunday] it was referees.
“[On his dismissal], I protested angrily against Pique [referring to his handball], but I didn’t insult him.
“An insult is different, but if it’s a protest, why was I sent off? We all make mistakes, but I didn’t insult him, I just protested.
“We competed at a high level. I think the team who best cope with injuries will achieve fourth place. We have the advantage, but it’s not definitive.
“I can’t ask for more from this team. We’re performing well above expectations.
“Without any doubt would I have preferred a more experienced referee than Sanchez Martinez.”