We have a whistle blower for Barcelona's next European match.
UEFA appoint 37-year-old referee Sergei Karasev from Russia to officiate Tuesday's group stage finale between Barcelona and Borussia Mönchengladbach at Camp Nou. This will be Karasev's third UCL assignment this season (Legia Warsaw 0-6 Borussia Dortmund, Napoli 2-3 Besiktas).
A relatively unknown official, Karasev is starting to build his reputation as one of the best young referees in Europe, with a great ability to conduct matches on the disciplinary side without too many bookings (only 3.34 yellow cards/game career average).
The Russian has been the referee in two other Barça matches in his career, and the Blaugrana have good memories from those two games: in 2013, Barça destroyed Celtic and won 6-1 at Camp Nou, which was special because it was the first hat-trick of Neymar's career with Barça just four months after signing for the club, and that was the night where every fan saw how special the Brazilian was.
Earlier this year, Karasev was in charge of the second leg of the Round of 16 matchup between Barça and Arsenal, and after winning the first leg in London, Barça finished the Gunners with a comfortable 3-1 win at Camp Nou. Karasev has also officiated one Gladbach match, it was in the Round of 32 of the Europa League in 2013 and the Germans drew 3-3 with Lazio.
So the takeaway is: it's a very good young official who doesn't like cards and his games end with Barça wins. Good news.