Barcelona’s win against Atletico Madrid served as a breath of fresh air, given that the team has suffered their fair share of ups and downs lately.
The manner in which the Blaugranes embraced victory against Atletico Madrid especially lifted spirits, as it was a largely dominant display let down by inefficiency in the oppositional final third.
However, apart from the wasteful finishing, another aspect of the match slightly smeared the experience for onlookers, and that was the referring on display.
Breach of privacy
Now, according to AS, the referee, Sanchez Martinez, sent his assistant, Raul Cabanero, to the dressing room tunnel in order to spy on the Barcelona players. The referee wanted to know what the players were saying about him.
His efforts were turned down as the stadium security did not let the assistant enter the dressing room.
While the incident was obviously not televised, Sanchez Martinez’ dubious refereeing was on display during the match as well.
Interfering in a crucial play, he robbed Gundogan of the ball, and instead of acknowledging the error, let the play continue with Atletico fortuitously regaining possession.
Moreover, Barcelona believe that Azpilicueta should have been sent off and that Sanchez Martínez should have given a penalty when Mario Hermoso stepped on Joao Felix during an attack.
Barcelona subject to controversial calls
Lately, controversial referee calls have become a recurring theme in Barcelona’s matches.
In fact, coach Xavi Hernandez voiced his concerns after the draw to Rayo Vallecano, claiming the team has been hard-pressed by match officials frequently this season.
“Then I’m told I’m looking for excuses, but the foul on Raphinha is a clear penalty. It happened to us in Getafe, in Granada, and today. We lost because we weren’t good in the first half, and that’s no excuse, but it’s a clear penalty,” he said.
Now, with the events that unfolded against Atletico Madrid, Barcelona’s grievances continue to mount.