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The Valencia-Barça fall-out continues to run and run


The Valencia-Barcelona clash is proving quite the never-ending story. It was a full-blooded, dramatic game, very well defined by Juan Cruz in this paper as one from a bygone era. A match that featured a serious injury, controversial refereeing, tension in the stands, toing and froing on the scoreboard, a last-gasp penalty and objects thrown. A match from a bygone era, yes; but one unmistakably played in the current era. And the current era brings it all down a rung with a succession of added contributions that turn what in a bygone era would have been a good old thriller into an imitation of a film by irreverent Spanish director Luis García Berlanga.

Messi's last-gasp penalty beats Valencia goalkeeper Diego Alves.
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Messi's last-gasp penalty beats Valencia goalkeeper Diego Alves.ALBERTO IRANZODIARIO AS

Nobody's coming out of this well...

As Leo Messi scored his penalty, there was little amiss; but then Barça's players went to celebrate in the least appropriate spot, with Neymar acting least appropriately and saying what's least appropriate. An angry lad then chucked a bottle and hit him, and several others suffered the impact through empathy. And since then a growing frenzy has fed a row which no-one is coming out of well. Neither Neymar, nor Barça, who didn't even remotely fault him, nor the thrower, nor Los Che sporting director Suso García Pitarch for his closing arguments. Nor, of course, the ref, who'd got nothing right from Andrés Iniesta's injury onwards.

Barcelona's players react to the bottle-throwing incident.
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Barcelona's players react to the bottle-throwing incident.DAVID GONZALEZDIARIO AS

That was in the heat of the moment, at least...

But all that has the excuse of being in the heat of the moment. Even the half-time interview that saw Ezequiel Garay's wife have her two cents' worth. What's followed is worse. LaLiga head Javier Tebas intervened needlessly and ex-Barca president Joan Gaspart couldn't help chiming in, bringing in the word 'hate' before having to retract it. And to top it off, the chairman of the RFEF disciplinary committee, Francisco Rubio, issued a daftly-written resolution that resolved little. Now, just so this runs and runs, Barça chief Josep Maria Bartomeu has reported Tebas to the TAD, while Spain's anti-violence commission says it's "gathering information". Pure Berlanga.