Even when there is nothing concrete for either team to play for, Clasicos will still be feisty affairs and Sunday’s encounter has proven to be no different with Real Madrid left seething by the refereeing display at the Camp Nou.
Prior to kick-off, the match was dubbed as a dead rubber with Barcelona focused on maintaining their unbeaten run and Los Blancos wanting to avoid injuries ahead of the Champions League final.
It was even rumoured that Cristiano Ronaldo and Sergio Ramos would be rested for the match, such rumour and innuendo never came to fruition and once the match began it felt like a true Clasico.
There was controversy and passion in equal measure, and it even threatened to boil over on numerous occasions, especially after Sergi Roberto was shown a straight red for throwing a tame punch at Marcelo.
Los Blancos’ players and hierarchy are leaving the Camp Nou extremely angry with the performance of Alejandro Hernandez Hernandez.
From a footballing perspective, Zinedine Zidane was unsure how to exactly take advantage of his team having an extra player on the pitch, they couldn’t turn their superiority in possession into clear cut chances.
Ramos made a comment after the match that suggested Lionel Messi had put pressure on the officials during the half time interval, ordinarily this wouldn’t seem overly significant, yet those within Los Blancos’ inner circle feel as though the officiating changed course after that moment.
“This match confirms something that we’ve already known for quite a long time,” an unnamed dressing room source intimated to MARCA.
There is a lack of understanding with regards to decisions that were made in the second half, most notably the failure to award a foul to the European champions in the build-up to Messi’s goal.
It’s clear that this issue will rumble on in the coming days, yet Real Madrid must quickly put such controversy behind them and turn their focus to the Champions League final on May 26.