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Real Madrid and Barcelona were both given a helping hand by referees this weekend. Real's Sergio Ramos was very lucky that Fernández Borbolán didn't see him elbow Rayo's Diego Costa in the face in the twentieth minute of their match on Sunday, which could have cost the defender a red card and a penalty. And near the end of the game any hope of a comeback by Rayo ended when their top goalscorer Michu was sent off for what Fernández considered to be a foul from behind on Khedira, even though the player clearly got to the ball. The appeals committee overturned the decision, but the damage was already done. Later in the evening Barcelona were grateful to Pérez Lasa that he didn't award a late penalty to Atlético Madrid after Busquets appeared to handle inside the area, and the referee also pulled up Falcao and Adrián for borderline offsides. He did though rule out goals by Messi and Alexis for hand ball, the yellow card he showed to Messi for that (one of 14 in the game!) being the forward's fifth of the season. Even that didn't go down too badly in the Barça camp though as Messi will miss the home match against the struggling Sporting rather than against a more difficult opponent, and Guardiola has used the occasion to give him a well earned brief holiday prior to an intense programme of fixtures. (29.02.12)

Name Games played Yellow cards Red cards Total
Paradas Romero 15 115 9 124
Muñiz Fernández 16 112 10 122
Turienzo Alvarez 15 115 3 118
Velasco Carballo 15 104 12 116
Fernández Borbolán 17 106 8 114
Pérez Lasa 15 97 1 107
Iglesias Villanueva 16 99 8 107
Alvarez Izquierdo 15 99 7 106
Teixeira Vitienes, F. 18 98 8 106
Teixeira Vitienes, J.A. 14 97 6 103