Xavi weighs in on refereeing controversy as Real Madrid survive Almeria scare

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By newsversepro.com

Barcelona manager Xavi has reiterated his concerns over refereeing in La Liga after Real Madrid’s controversial 3-2 victory over Almeria on Sunday.

At the Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid went 2-0 down to La Liga’s bottom side in the first half of the game before three controversial VAR calls after the break changed the tide of the game.

Madrid were awarded a penalty early in the second half which Jude Bellingham converted to kick-start the comeback, before Almeria had a goal ruled out for a foul, but the biggest frustration for away fans came as Vinicius Junior appeared to use his upper arm to score the equaliser. Dani Carvajal would ultimately strike a 99th-minute winner for Carlo Ancelotti’s side.

Asked for his thoughts after Barcelona‘s 4-2 win over Real Betis, Xavi suggested he agreed with claims that Madrid profit from refereeing controversies a little too often.

“I already said in Getafe that it was going to be very difficult to win this league,” he said. “There are people who don’t remember but I think we could have six more points in this championship.

“I remember the penalty in the Coliseum, the resounding penalty against Raphinha, Joao Felix’s goal in Granada… They are not excuses, they are realities, 95th-minute situations that always come up with a cross…

“There are things that we do not control, everyone has seen it today.”

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Xavi admitted he shared the frustrations of Almeria boss Gaizka Garitano, who claimed this was not the first time he had left the Bernabeu feeling a sense of injustice.

“I don’t have words to say what has happened,” Garitano fumed. “This isn’t the first time something like this has happened to me here.”

A number of Almeria players have openly called out the officiating, including goalscorer Edgar Gonzalez.

“This is a competition that should be fair for everyone, and sometimes it’s hard to see that,” he said after the final whistle. “The [Madrid penalty] is a clear foul and I think the second is handball. All the decisions went in their favour.”

Defender Marc Pubill added: “Somebody decided we couldn’t win and that’s what happened.”

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