Did the referee cost Getafe a chance to beat Barcelona?
There were three moments in Saturday’s draw that will lead to a great deal of discussion, by media and fans alike.
Getafe put on a defensive masterclass on Saturday, holding Barcelona to a scoreless draw. Cosmin Contra and his squad will be pleased with their performance and extremely happy with the result — once they’re able to wash the bad taste from their collective mouths from what happened in the final seconds of the match.
Take a look at what happened right before the final whistle:
Let’s clarify what happened here. Getafe’s Álvaro Vázquez was cutting in between two Barca defenders, preparing to break in against Claudio Bravo one-on-one. Then the referee blows his whistle to end the match. Álvaro was stunned, his teammates were incensed, and Diego Castro picked up a yellow card after the match for his aggressive protest.
Can you blame Getafe for feeling like the referee robbed them of a potential game winning goal? Nope, not at all. For a team that’s failed to win their last four league matches, a point is nice but three points would have been even better. Especially against Barcelona.
But we’ll never know what might have been. It’s a classic ‘what if’ moment that we see all the time in sports.
Getafe fans will point to the fact that Álvaro would’ve been able to take advantage of Bravo, who was racing off his line to try and prevent the goal scoring chance he assumed was coming. Barca fans will argue that Bravo was closing the gap very quickly and might have been able to make a play. Because Álvaro turned his head at the whistle, we’ll never really know who would’ve run the race.
In the end your interpretation of the play will likely be influenced by how you feel about Barcelona.
Everyone can debate the fairness of what the referee did until they’re all blue in the face, but it ultimately won’t matter. It’s likely the referee was looking down at his watch at or near the moment that Álvaro made his break. He probably didn’t see what was happening in that split second, when he took his eyes off the play. It may well have cost Getafe the win.
Of course, you can also point to the penalty that Barcelona should’ve received in the first half — ignore the conspiracy theory element of the tweet please — and the fact they could’ve been up 1-0.
Still baffled at how Barça weren’t awarded a penalty. At the Bernabéu, that’s a penalty. pic.twitter.com/6Yx31wOvsh
— Sergi Domínguez (@FutbolSergi) December 13, 2014
Or you can point to the uncalled handball committed by Dani Alves minutes after the controversial no-call above.
Dani Alves’ handball: pic.twitter.com/YLE6enRm5l
— La Liga Time (@laligatime) December 13, 2014
So that’s at least three “what-if’ moments from just one match, but all that ultimately matters is the fact that Barcelona dropped two points. That means they now trail Real Madrid by four points in the race for the league title.
That fact will likely lead many Culés to make a lot of noise about the missed penalty while they conveniently forget about the two calls that went against Getafe … and that’s OK, because that’s what sports fans do.