‘We have been damaged by refereeing decisions’ – Barcelona’s Xavi Hernandez rejects excuses claim

Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez says it is no excuse, but that the referee did deprive them of two penalties on Saturday against Rayo Vallecano, which would eventually cost them two points had they converted one of them.

Late on in the second half, Robert Lewandowski was thrown to the ground by Florian Lejeune in the box, while Raphinha could not get on the end of a cross after Pacha Espino hooked his foot in the box. A report was released the following day claiming that refereeing decisions had contributed to the loss of seven points for Barcelona this season.

Xavi was asked if his side might be less tense were they going into matches with a cushion at the top of the table.

“It is obvious that we would go into games calmer if we were four points ahead of the leader before Girona play.”

“We have not had luck with the refereeing, and it is not an excuse. Later on you will say it’s an excuse, but we have to play better, that’s why we didn’t win [on Saturday]. But refereeing errors have damaged us, too. So far we haven’t had any luck.”

While referees may have made mistakes against Barcelona, the report did not list any of the decisions that have gone for the Blaugrana, which would perhaps alter the perception of that report. Earlier in the month, Real Sociedad were adamant they should have had a penalty against Barcelona with the score at 0-0, a point which Barcelona turned into three.

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