Barcelona suffered a 2-0 defeat to Sevilla in the first leg of their Copa del Rey semi-final clash on Wednesday and seemed pretty unhappy with the officiating after the game.
The club posted footage of an incident in the second half on Twitter when Jordi Alba was fouled by Suso. Referee Mateu Lahoz awarded the visitors a free-kick just outside the penalty area, but Barca’s footage shows they believe it should have been a penalty.
The incident came at a time when Barca were trailing 1-0 and, if the penalty had been awarded, would have given the visitors the chance to level the scores and boost their chances of progressing.
However, the decision was not given which means goals from Jules Kounde and former Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic have put Sevilla in a strong position to make it through to the final of the competition. The return leg takes place at Camp Nou on March 3.
Follow the Heavy on Barcelona Facebook page for the latest breaking news, rumors and content!
Barca Stars Complain About Penalty
Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman and young midfielder Pedri both felt the team should have been awarded a spot-kick for the incident involving Alba and Suso.
Koeman offered his thoughts to reporters after the full-time whistle at the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán stadium, as reported by Marca.
There is always a doubt about penalties. Everyone told me it was a penalty. They made fouls, but clever fouls. They defended very well. They are a strong team. They are a great team with a great squad. We are in good form, we fought. We played well, but we played against a great team, and a very physical team. We had chances. There is VAR, but I think there is a penalty.
Pedri agreed with his manager about the incident, although Suso made it clear what he thought of the 18-year-old comments with a post on Twitter.
Rakitic Wary of Barcelona Threat
The result leaves Barcelona with an uphill task to progress to the final, but the team should be boosted by the return of several players for the second leg.
Koeman was without eight senior players for the trip to Sevilla due to injury but could have key defenders such as Sergino Dest, Ronald Araujo, and Gerard Pique back by next month.
Goalscorer Rakitic, who spent six years at Barca before returning to Sevilla in the summer, knows the tie is not over yet, as reported by Mundo Deportivo.
Barcelona are a team that has a lot of talent and a lot of ability to hurt you. It won’t be easy.” But we’ve gotten together very, very well, waiting for our moment. And in the end it came and we’ve put together an interesting result, a very positive one for us.
The important thing is to enjoy tonight, for all the Sevillistas to enjoy this moment. We must be happy as a team, but also be aware that it will be difficult there [at Camp Nou], because we’re going to play against one of the best teams.
Barcelona know all about mounting comebacks this season, particularly in the Copa del Rey. The Catalan giants were 2-0 down with two minutes remaining against Granada in the last round before running out 5-3 winners.
A similar performance will be needed from the Catalan giants now if they are to keep their Copa del Rey hopes alive and progress to April’s final against either Athletic or Levante.