El Clásico: bad-tempered match littered with refereeing errors
Referee Hernández Hernández endured a tough night at Camp Nou. We look through the contentious decisions that marked a feisty Clásico.
This is not an evening that referee Hernández Hernández will look back on with fondness. Barcelona and Real Madrid shared the spoils in a bad-tempered Clásico at Camp Nou that was littered with questionable decisions. We tackle each incident in chronological order:
Bale avoids red card
Gareth Bale was also lucky to avoid a red card at the end of the first half for a stamp on Samuel Umtiti's calf. With the ball running out of play, Bale raked his studs down the back of Umtiti's leg by the touchline.
Iturralde González, AS's resident referee, was unequivocal. "It's a clear red," he said. This came just a few minutes after Sergi Roberto was justifiably sent off for aiming a stray forearm at Marcelo.
Suárez fouls Varane
That was not the only contentious decision. Lionel Messi scored Barcelona's second goal after 52 minutes, but Luis Suárez appeared to foul Raphael Varane from behind in the build-up.
Iturralde was again clear on his interpretation: "The only doubt is whether it's clear or crystal clear."
Two minutes later, Suárez scored the goal that should have made the scoreline 3-1. Yet Ivan Rakitic was wrongly flagged offside before crossing for the Uruguayan to score.
Marcelo denied penalty
Perhaps the clearest error came in the 75th minute when Jordi Alba felled Marcelo in the box, only for Hernández Hernández to wave play on.
Iturralde thought the referee needed to make a decision either way. "When this happens, you either give a penalty, or a free-kick against and book him [Marcelo]."
Although Hernández Hernández made several errors, it should be noted that the players created an extremely difficult environment for the officials with play-acting and off-the-ball incidents rife.