Prior to Barcelona’s match at home to Eibar, the club made a big protest in favour of freedom of speech This was in the light of the recent fines they have received from UEFA for allowing Catalan independentist flags into the stadium during Champions League games, even though this had been going on for years without anyone noticing! However it seems freedom of speech has its limits, as Mascherano found out when he used a typical Argentinian expression to express his dismay at a refereeing decision in Barcelona’s match against Eibar! His “la concha de tu hermana!” to the general assembly (as confirmed by television pictures) was understood by a linesman as “la concha de tu madre” directed directly at the official, and when he reported this to the referee it was an immediate red card for “El Jefecito”! The disciplinary committee has a minefield to navigate, did he direct it at the linesman, is it worse that the remark was to his mother rather than his sister etc.**, but if he receives a big ban he could miss the upcoming “clásico” as a result. We wait with baited breath!

Mascherano’s was one of six red cards this weekend, all the others for second bookable offences. The first of those was on Friday night for our old favourite Víctor Sánchez, winner of our “Villains” award in 2014 and fourth last season, and although Tito also got his marching orders late on, Rayo had already done enough to beat Espanyol 3-0. On Saturday Celta’s Cabral took the long walk early on in the second half after picking up a second booking for protesting in the match against Real Madrid, and he too faces a prolonged ban after calling the referee a “cagón de mierda” as he walked off the pitch (another of those dainty Argentinian phrases!). Later in the evening Getafe’s Vigaray was shown two yellow cards for giving away two penalties against Sevilla, and on Sunday Levante’s Deyverson got his second caution near the end for diving in the area. Honestly, when you are losing 4-0 what’s the point?!? All will be joined on the sidelines next weekend by three players who cmpleted the five yellow card cycle, Augusto Fernández (Celta), Nacho Cases (Sporting) and Mustafi (Valencia). (28.10.15)

**Literally “concha” means shell, but in South America it is used in argo to refer to a lady’s most intimate bits!

PS Mascherano got away with a two match suspension, which means he will be back in time for that vital match in the Bernabeu stadium. Cabral was also banned for two games for his insults, but in his case that has to be added to a one match ban for the sending off, which was for other motives.

(* suspension pending disciplinary meeting decision)

Villains Yellow cards Red cards (straight) Games banned Total points
Piqué (Barcelona) 2 1 (1) 4 8
Ebert (Rayo Vallecano) 2 1 (1) 4 8
Víctor Sánchez (Espanyol) 6 1 1* 8
Eric Bailly (Villarreal) 6 1 1 8
Escalante (Eibar) 7 0 1 8
Amaya (Rayo Vallecano) 3 1 3 7
Miguel Lopes (Granada) 5 1 1 7
Deyverson (Levante) 5 1 1* 7
Simao (Levante) 0 1 (1) 4 6
Mascherano (Barcelona) 3 1 (1) 1* 6
Vergini (Getafe) 4 1 1 6
Doria (Granada) 4 1 1 6
Tissone (Málaga) 4 1 1 6
Wakaso (Las Palmas) 5 0 1 6
Augusto (Celta) 5 0 1* 6
Recio (Málaga) 5 0 1 6
Nacho Cases (Sporting) 5 0 1* 6
Mustafi (Valencia) 5 0 1* 6
Bruno (Villarreal) 1 1 (1) 2 5
Vigaray (Getafe) 3 1 1* 5
Tito (Rayo Vallecano) 3 1 1* 5
Reyes (Real Sociedad) 3 1 1 5
N'Zonzi (Sevilla) 3 1 1 5
Bernardo (Sporting) 3 1 1 5
Beñat (Athletic Bilbao) 5 0 0 5