Not that they needed it, but Real Madrid and Barcelona were both given helping hands by referees in the last round of games of the year. Most pundits agreed that González González should have given two penalties in the match between Real Madrid and Real Sociedad, not the two he awarded to the locals, but two fouls by Pepe on Jonathas and Yuri which he ignored. It was all too much for Real Sociedad president Jokin Aperribay, who accused the officials of robbing his team, and threatened to call in the police at half time! González also let Nacho off with a yellow card for a reckless tackle on Xabi Prieto after the break which should probably have been red.

Later in the evening though Bikandi Garrido gave another controversial penalty to Barcelona at the behest of his linesman when Messi was felled in a clash with Betis keeper Adán. Television pictures showed clearly though that Adán had punched the ball clear, and that the incident with Messi was purely accidental. To make matters worse the referee failed to spot that Neymar touched the ball twice when he slipped taking the kick, and although Westemann turned the rebound off the bar into his own net, it was only because Rakitic fouled him. Pepe Mel’s protests only earned a red card for the Betis coach, and he stated in a post match interview that although he hadn’t read the referee’s report, it was all lies!

Las Palmas were also aided by a dubious penalty in the last match on Wednesday, Jaime Latre pointing to the spot after Wakaso fell over the feet of Granada’s Robert Ibáñez. The Canary Islanders were 2-1 up at the time, and went on to win 4-1. Granada too had an assistant coach sent off for protesting, but both he and Mel were vindicated when the disciplinary committee overturned the bookings for Adán and Ibáñez on Friday. Not that that changed their two match bans, nor of course the respective results. Happy New Year everyone! (02.01.16)

Name Games played Yellow cards Red cards Total
Iglesias Villanueva 12 81 7 88
Clos Gómez 11 74 6 80
Gil Manzano 11 77 3 80
Alvarez Izquierdo 10 69 7 76
Del Cerro Grande 11 72 4 76
González González 11 69 6 75
Velasco Carballo 11 67 5 72
Undiano Mallenco 11 62 3 65
Sánchez Martínez 9 61 3 64
Jaime Latre 11 58 4 62