The Referee for yesterday’s match, Gil Manzano, has been facing a lot of criticism after his controversial decisions in yesterday’s El Clásico. The Spanish referee was not the first choice to officiate the very important tie. He was a replacement for Mateu Lahoz, who had to withdraw because of a muscle injury.
According to Mundo Deportivo, after the match, Barça’s star defender Gerard Piqué had to be dragged away by Carles Naval, Barça’s sideline delegate. Pique got involved in a discussion with Manzano criticizing him for his decisions throughout the game. The main talking point was the very little injury time added after the game had so many stoppages in the second half.
The Catalan center-back could not believe that added time was just a mere 4 minutes after so many VAR checks, nine subs in total, and most importantly referee changing his mic system. However, to avoid sanctions in the future, it was important that Piqué was moved away from the argument.
Other bad decisions included denying an obvious penalty to Martin Braithwaite after he was unfairly pulled down inside the box by Ferland Mendy. This is not the first time that Barça have faced the wrath of incompetent refereeing this season. In the previous El Clásico, Real Madrid was given a penalty for literally nothing, which shifted the momentum in their favor.
Poor and incompetent refereeing is becoming a trend in La Liga. The VAR is also not being used efficiently. Barcelona have not received any favors from the referees this season, and it’s starting to become a very dangerous pattern. Ronald Koeman also had a say in this matter:
“I’m just asking for the referee to make decisions right. It was a very clear penalty, I do not know why there is VAR in Spain. Everyone thinks it’s criminal. The added time was only 4 minutes. Once again we have to accept it and shut our mouths,” said the Dutch coach.
Back in 2017, Manzano was spotted taking back home a bag with Real Madrid’s logo on it. In the game prior to that, he made some horrendous calls against Villareal too. There have been too many instances throughout the season which have put the referees under scrutiny. La Liga needs some proper checks and balances as soon as possible, this level of refereeing can not continue in Europe’s top league.