So there we have it, another “clásico” between Real Madrid and Barcelona, and hours and hours of debate about the decisions of the man in the middle, who this time was Hernández Hernández. Even before the game started there was an imaginative attempt by Barça’s legal department to find a loophole for the suspended Neymar to play (one Catalan TV channel likened it to a scene from the Marx Brothers!), but that was eventually discarded, and Neymar stayed at home. But then the match kicked off: was it a penalty early on by Umtiti on Ronaldo; should Marcelo have been sent off for giving Messi a bloody mouth with his elbow; should Casemiro have been given a second yellow card before the break, would a yellow card have been more correct when Ramos was given a straight red? All these questions and more were discussed at tedious length by the Spanish press, but in the end the result was 2-3 to Barça, and it was agreed by all that the sex of angels was indeterminate!

Back on planet Earth though there were two or three controversial decisions which could affect the outcome of the league placings, the most blatant of which being the decision by Jaime Latre to allow a last gasp winning goal by Villarreal’s Bakambu to stand, even though he clearly punched the ball in to the net with his outstretched hand (a la “Maradona hand-of-God”)! As a result Villarreal consolidate fifth place, but their opponents Leganés are now only four points above the drop zone, and struggling. They were given a helping hand (no pun intended!) later in the evening though when Gil Manzano disallowed an early strike by Sporting’s Burgui for a non-existent offside, and then turned down a good penalty appeal by the striker. Their match at bottom club Osasuna ended 2-2, and the fight to avoid the drop is still wide open. A questionable ruling as well by Munuera Montero to allow an Alavés equalizer at Las Palmas, even though Ibai’s cross-come-shot passed between the legs of the offside Deyverson, but given that both teams have little to play for that probably was less important. Quite a week though, and that’s without saying anything about the Champions League tie between Real Madrid and Bayern Munich, which included inter-alia a controversial red card for Vidal, and two offside goals scored by Ronaldo! (25.04.17)

Name Games played Yellow cards Red cards Total
Gil Manzano 22 147 9 156
Estrada Fernández 20 134 11 145
Iglesias Villanueva 20 124 4 128
Jaime Latre 21 119 6 125
Alvarez Izquierdo 19 114 5 119
Martínez Munuera 21 112 4 116
Hernández Hernández 20 106 8 114
González González 24 109 5 114
Del Cerro Grande 17 102 9 111
Melero López 18 106 4 110

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