Barcelona defeats Athletic with the most arbitration controversy

Plunged into a scandal over payments to a referee committee official, leader Barcelona needed some help from VAR to maintain its nine-point lead over Real Madrid in the Spanish league on Sunday.

The azulgranas defeated Athletic Bilbao 1-0 at home after video refereeing annulled a goal by Bilbao striker Iñaki Williams in the 87th minute for a handball by Iker Muniain in the making of the play.

VAR also intervened to confirm Barcelona’s goal, the work of Brazilian striker Raphinha near the end of the first half, after initially being disallowed for offside.

The review of Williams’s goal took almost three months, and when the decision was announced, the Athletic fans booed loudly at their San Mamés stadium.

“It is a very difficult field, of the most. We are very happy, the victory gives us a lot”, said the Barcelona goalkeeper Marc Andre ter Stegen. “We defended with everyone even on the line. You have to win these games and enjoy the moment”.

If the goal had counted, Madrid would have fallen seven points behind heading into the last clásico in the league this season. It will be played next Sunday at the Camp Nou stadium. Madrid defeated Espanyol 3-1 on Saturday.

The controversy in Bilbao occurred hours after Madrid announced that it will appear against Barcelona in the legal process that its rival faces for the payment of millions of euros over several years to a company that belonged to the former vice president of the referees committee. The Prosecutor’s Office formally accused Barcelona of corruption on Friday. The Catalan club denies having committed a crime.

It was Barça’s ninth 1-0 victory this season in the domestic championship.

Athletic basted the fifth matchday without victory — four defeats and one draw — to stagnate in ninth position with 33 points.

The visitors suffered a lot from the attack until before the target that was born with a precise pass from Sergio Busquets for Raphinha to sign his sixth goal of the championship and ninth in all competitions.

Barça recovered striker Robert Lewandowski in the starting eleven after missing the last two days due to injury. The Pole had few options to show off in attack. The young Gavi also returned to the midfield after serving a one-match ban for accumulating yellow cards.

The Bilbao team had no luck to go ahead on the scoreboard after Raúl García crashed a header off the crossbar with a shot from a corner kick after the first half hour.

In the plugin, Álex Berenguer and Muñiain were victims of ter Stegen’s saving saves. The German goalkeeper kept his goal clean for the 19th game in the championship.


The VAR took more than four minutes to confirm a goal by Yeremi Pino, with which Villarreal saved a 1-1 draw with Real Betis in the duel of two clubs fighting for European places.

Pino sent a shot into the net inside the area to the center of Ramón Terrats after 55 minutes. In the first instance, the action was annulled due to an alleged advanced position, but from the video arbitration room it was confirmed that the goal was valid.

Borja Iglesias opened the scoring for visiting Betis after pushing the ball into the open frame after goalkeeper Pepe Reina failed to control a mid-height shot at 38.

In the final stretch, José Luis Morales had a goal disallowed for Villarreal due to an advanced position.

Betis, led by the Chilean coach Manuel Pellegrini, remains in fifth position with 42 units, three below Real Sociedad (fourth) and also at that distance from Atlético de Madrid (third), who visit Girona on Monday .

The Yellow Submarine saw a streak of two wins in the League broken and is sixth with 38 points.


With a goal from Argentine Erik Lamela, Sevilla overcame being behind from the second minute to beat Almería 2-1 at home, a victory with which they escaped the relegation zone.

Recent Articles

Related News

Leave A Reply

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here