Referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz has again made the headlines for producing 16 yellow and two red cards during the Barcelona vs Espanyol La Liga match.
Last month, he controversially produced 18 cards in the Argentina-Netherlands quarterfinal game, the most during a FIFA World Cup match. After the match, which was decided in the shootout, Emiliano Martinez called Lahoz ‘useless’. The referee was subsequently sent back to Spain.
Now in less than a month, Lahoz issued red cards to two players during the La Liga game between Barcelona and Espanyol, with the match ending in a 1-1 draw.
Played on December 31 at Nou Camp, Lahoz issued yellow cards to seven Barcelona players. Jordi Alba, who was booked twice, was sent off. Espanyol, meanwhile, saw six of its players getting booked by the 45-year-old referee. Vinicius Souza was the other player who was sent off for seeing two yellow cards.
Before the match, Barcelona manager Xavi, when asked about Lahoz, said, “(Mateu Lahoz) whistled a lot of my games as a player. He speaks a lot, and that is positive. The referee is a judge and cannot get nervous, and he does not. It is difficult to be a ref,” Xavi had said ahead of the contest.
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The draw forced Barcelona to share points with 16th-placed Espanyol. However, the Blaugrana remains on top of the La Liga points table due to a better goal difference with Real Madrid, who is on the level with it with 38 points.