Valverde Slams Ref After Barca Drop Points Due To 'Invisible Penalty'
Ernesto Valverde Slams Referee After FC Barcelona Drop Points Due To 'Invisible Penalty'
FC Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde has slammed referee Mateu Lahoz for awarding a dubious penalty in the LaLiga leaders' 1-1 draw with Las Palmas on Thursday.
Click through the gallery above to see pictures from Barcelona's 1-1 draw with Las Palmas.
The Blaugrana, who were hoping to reclaim their seven-point gap over second-placed Atletico Madrid, took the lead in the match after Argentina star Lionel Messi found the back of the net with a superb free-kick, but the hosts soon equalised after they were awarded a questionable penalty.
After the match, Valverde was quick to lament what he felt was a poor decision from the referee, but also blamed his team for not playing with consistency throughout the game.
"The penalty hurt us, we have seen that they equalised with an invisible penalty," Valverde told reporters, as reported by Marca.
"In the first half, you could feel that the danger was there, more so with so many yellow cards. We went ahead in the first half, but the lead was slim.
"The penalty hurt us because of how it was, then they defended well and we tried to score. There was little consistency in our play too, and that cost us."
The former Athletic Bilbao coach admitted that, after seeing the penalty in the change room, he still had no idea why official awarded it.
"I don't want to analyse the refereeing," Valverde added.
"At half-time, I spoke to him about the clear, deliberate handball outside the box by the goalkeeper.
"As for the penalty, I still don't know what he's given it for. In the dressing room, it wasn't clear who had done what for the penalty."
Barcelona's next opponent are second-placed Atletico, who sit just five points behind the Catalan giants in LaLiga and visit the Camp Nou on Sunday.
Do you think this result will have any effect on the title race? Have your say in the comment section below.