Barcelona’s misery at Camp Nou deepened as they suffered a third consecutive home defeat in all competitions on Sunday with Rayo Vallecano securing a surprise 0-1 victory.
Having gone behind just seven minutes into the game through a goal from Alvaro Garcia, Xavi’s Barça struggled to find their way back for the next ninety minutes or so, failing to strengthen their grip on the second place in the La Liga standings.
Rayo Vallecano did well to keep things tight at the back, restricting Barça for long parts of the game. However, there were occasions when they might have been aided by some refereeing decisions as Isidro Diaz de Mera made some contentious calls on the pitch on Sunday night.
Firstly, the match official was a bit free-handed in dealing with fouls from either team on the night, while there were occasions of time-wasting from the visitors which went unpenalised. Although, to his credit, the referee added a massive 11 minutes of stoppage time at the end.
But the biggest talking point of the contest came in the 89th minute when Gavi was bundled over inside the Rayo Vallecano box by Alejandro Catena.
Even as Barça players and fans vociferously appealed for a penalty, Diaz de Mera waved off the claims and instead showed a yellow card to a Barcelona star for dissent.
It was then claimed that Gavi had been offside in the lead-up to the incident. But the decision left an unsavoury taste for Barcelona fans, who made sure the match official knew how they felt.
As reported by Mundo Deportivo, the Barça supporters at Camp Nou whistled Diaz de Mera for the majority of the contest and chanted against him to express their displeasure at some of his decisions.
La Grada d’Animacio or the Animation Stand, who had boycotted the last league game against Cadiz, were present in full voice on Sunday as they chanted: “You’re so bad, referee you’re so bad. You’re so bad!”
This, however, could land Barcelona in trouble. While the report does not mention anything about it, there have been instances in the past when clubs have been fined by their leagues/UEFA if managers or players speak out in dissent against the referees.
UEFA have a history of protecting match officials in situations like these and it would be well within the realm of possibility that the governing bodies decide to issue a warning or hand a fine to Barcelona following the chants against Isidro Diaz de Mera from the stands on Sunday night.
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