“It unsettles you” – Valencia unhappy over Barcelona goal ‘scandal’

Barcelona President Joan Laporta and coach Xavi Hernandez have been vociferous in their complaints about referees this season, feeling they have drawn the short straw on a number of occasions. Yet neither has decided to opine on  Robert Lewandowski’s equaliser against Valencia, which did not go down well with Los Che.

Valencia came close to a point at Montjuic, having got themselves in front, and then been forced to play the second half with 10 men after Giorgi Mamardashvili’s sending off. Manager Ruben Baraja said he was happy with the effort of his players, and highlighted a Diego Lopez chance thwarted by Pedri as the key moment.

“The first half for Valencia was at a high level. It has helped us that the goals are errors, forced by us, but not common in a team of this level. The sending off is vital. Then you concede 2-2 and you already know that you are going to be suffering. Even so we have been close to 2-3. I will focus on the work of the players, who have competed with ten against a great team. Barca bottle you up, they have high-level players… They have scored goals from corner kicks against Madrid, PSG… With one player less it was difficult to come back. But at 2-2 we were had the chance to make it 2-3,” he told Diario AS.

Beforehand he had spoken to DAZN in the mix zone, and made it clear that he did not agree with the decision to award Barcelona’s second goal. After Lewandowski flicked on at the near post, Fermin Lopez appeared to challenge for the ball in front of goalkeeper Jaume Domenech from an offside position, although he did not touch it. Baraja felt Fermin was interfering.

“I think the goal is a positional offside play, I don’t know how to assess it very well… The action is very fast, I don’t know what the referee decides. They talk about something and he gives a goal. The Barca player makes a move, wanting to touch the ball. I don’t know on other occasions, in similar plays, the same decisions are made. Sometimes, at one stadium it is offside and in another it is not. We would have to check the archives.”

“At times, in different grounds, different decisions are made based on the interpretation of the referee. It unsettles you. Today’s action is offside in some places and not in others. There have been situations that have not favoured us.”

Barcelona of course are plenty familiar with the rule, having seen a Joao Felix goal chalked off for much less in the first half of the season against Granada. On that occasion the Blaugrana raised their voices about the perceived injustice, but Xavi did not address the matter, and was not asked about it, in his post-match presser.

Tags Barcelona Robert Lewandowski Ruben Baraja Valencia
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