Barcelona v Espanyol

Messi offside for opening Barcelona goal v Espanyol

The Argentinean striker scored after being played in by Rakitic, but was offside when the ball was played
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Messi offside for first goal against Espanyol

Leo Messi sent the Camp Nou into raptures in the 26th minute of their match on Saturday evening, collecting a ball from Rakitic and going round his man before burying the ball in the back of the net, to give Barcelona a 1-0 lead over city rivals Espanyol.

Messi celebrates his goal

Messi offside for first Barcelona goal

However, the Argentinean was clearly offside when Rakitic played the ball to him. The linesman failed to spot it and the goal was allowed to stand despite the protests of the Espanyol players.

"It's offside. It's an easy one for the assistant referee, I don't understand it. Messi isn't moving. He's offside from the moment the move starts. That's a lack of concentration from the assistant referee", said AS resident referee Iturralde González.

No VAR in Spain

The offside goal is sure to fuel yet further the debate over why Spain has not implanted VAR technology to correct mistakes, as well as adding to the general feeling among the 'smaller' teams in the Liga that in general the mistakes from the officials tend to favour the 'bigger' teams, and above all Real Madrid and Barcelona.

Messi was unbothered by the controversy and doubled Barcelona's lead nine minutes later.