Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde has admitted that the lack of a video assistant referee was probably a good thing while joking that his side’s El Clasico showdown with Real Madrid may never have ended had VAR been used.
Sunday evening’s clash at Camp Nou was packed with incident, particularly towards the end of the first half when three yellow cards and a red were dished out.
A couple of other players could consider themselves fortunate not to join Sergio Roberto, who appeared to slap Marcelo, in being given their marching orders in a match that finished 2-2.
Speaking to reporters after the match, Valverde said “It’s strange if Sergi did hit Marcelo in the face, knowing Sergi as I do. VAR? Luckily it hasn’t been implemented yet, otherwise we’d both still be playing!” he said. “It was a very intense match. We knew what these games were about and we all want to beat our opponents.
“We started the match well, but Madrid hurt us each time we lost the ball. The game was made complicated by the cards, and we struggled not to notice being a man down.
“Still, I appreciate the effort that my players made, playing with 10 for the entire second half and not against just any team but rather Real Madrid.
“We didn’t hold back going forward, even though we had to be very compact, line up with four at back and have another three in midfield. Instead, we could’ve won with Leo’s chance, which would’ve made it 3-1.”
Barcelona play host to Villarreal on Wednesday evening attempting to keep this season’s unbeaten La Liga record intact.