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Mascherano gave away two penalties in El Clásico


Barcelona vs Borussia Monchengladbach

Difficult start for the referee in El Clásico

Mascherano knocks Lucas Vázquez over in the box
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Mascherano knocks Lucas Vázquez over in the box

The worst start a referee can have in Barcelona - Real Madrid games is to have to make a decision on an incident in the area after just a couple of minutes. Mascherano, closer to the end of his career with every day that passes, was forced to stick his leg out with no hope of getting the ball, and ended up taking out Lucas Vázquez. A clear penalty but referee Clos Gómez didn't spot it

Penalty for Ronaldo

In the first half the teams claimed  three more penalties. In my opinion, one should have been awarded in the 23rd minute when Mascherano grabbed and pulled Cristiano Ronaldo's shirt when he was attempting to shoot. Another one Clos Gómez missed. 

From a Sergi Roberto cross the ball hit Ramos' arm, but he had the arm over his chest, so no penalty. Nor should there have been a spot-kick awarded against Rakitic, who cleared with his head (even though the ball might have grazed his arm). In the 39th minute, Jordi Alba's ball hit Carvajal on the shoulder and rebounded onto his arm: rebounds are never penalties. 

Yellow cards for Isco and Neymar

Penalties aside, Clos got his cards right in the first half. He booked Isco and Neymar, both deservedly. 

Goal for Barcelona

Image of Suárez positioning as Barcelona free-kick is taken
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Image of Suárez positioning as Barcelona free-kick is taken

The second half started with a clear foul from  Varane on Neymar. He protested but a foul it was. Neymar took it and Luis Suárez, onside, scored with a header. The image can be stopped a couple of centimetres either way, but for me the goal is fine, although it's one that can be debated. 

In the 78th minute Marco Asensio played a ball that, by chance, hit Pique's arm. Again, not a penalty. Clos was then spot on to give the free-kick for the foul on Marcelo that Madrid scored from. Also, Ramos wasn't offside when the ball was played. 

Clos Gómez, overall

Overall referee Clos Gómez had a decent game, except for his performance in the Barça box in the first half, where he was poor. 

Ildefonso Urizar Azpitarte was a top-flight referee from 1977 to 1991.


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