Barcelona restarted their La Liga campaign with a disappointing 1-1 draw with local rivals Espanyol on Saturday. The Catalan derby was quite a controversial one, with the referee Mateu Lahoz once again in the limelight.
The notorious Spanish referee broke his personal record by handing out 14 yellow cards and two red cards in the game, which directly affected the flow of the game.
Not to mention, Barcelona fans were furious at his decision to send off Jordi Alba, whose exit impacted Barça’s play during the last stage of the game.
According to a report from SPORT, Lahoz’s decision to hand bookings left and right led to a loss of 19 minutes and 20 seconds of play in the second half of the match.
It is quite a significant amount of time and one that turned out to be costly for Barça, who were unable to break the shackles of the Espanyol defence.
In fact, the amount of time lost due to stoppages is a record in this division and is indicative of the controversial performance of Mateu Lahoz, even though he was praised by Espanyol coach Diego Martinez shortly after the game.
While 19 minutes and 20 seconds were lost during stoppages, the fourth official allocated only nine minutes of added time. This means Barcelona were not able to utilise the entirety of the ninety minutes in their draw with Espanyol.
Especially from the 73rd minute of the game, Lahoz dished out eight yellows and two reds, which contributed greatly to the lost time for Barça.
The Catalans, though, will hope to move on from the result and focus on their upcoming contest against Intercity in the Round of 32 of Copa Del Rey.