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Barcelona 1-1 Atlético Madrid, 2017 Copa del Rey: 3 Things We Learned

A few takeaways from a crazy night at Camp Nou

Barcelona FC v Al-Ahli Saudi FC Photo by AK BijuRaj/Getty Images

Barcelona successfully advanced to a fourth straight Copa del Rey Final after a 1-1 draw with Atlético Madrid on Tuesday at Camp Nou. The match was full of controversy and lacked talent and brilliance, but the Blaugrana did the job and eliminated their toughest opponents in the Cup and now wait for Celta Vigo or Alavés.

Here's three takeaways from what we saw on Tuesday:

1 - The referees in Spain suck

Plain and simple. I won't get into the merit of which calls were right and which calls were wrong. It's pretty clear, and the discussion about referees in Spain usually turns into El Clásico, so I won't get there. But Tuesday's game was nuts, and a lot of it was because of the referee. It started in the first half, when he called foul after foul and showed no criteria with his bookings, which impacted the red cards in the second half. Referees in Spain don't know how to manage matches, to keep the nerves in place without using cards. They're also bad technically, which means they fail to see stuff or see stuff that doesn't happen because they're not trained well and they're not held accountable.

We have no idea what would have happened if the referees made the right calls in the game, for Barça and for Atlético. But at least we would be able to talk about the game, and just the game. But this is Spanish football, and the game is never more important than the referees.

2 - Jasper Cillessen is underrated

The Dutchman was the least exciting signing, and it didn't generate too much debate because he was just supposed to be a backup. Now that Claudio Bravo is gone, Ter Stegen is the La Liga and Champions League keeper, and Cillessen gives the German a rest in Cup matches. It wasn't supposed to be a big deal, but boy did he make the most of his chance to be a Barça shot-stopper! Cillessen was sensational yesterday, the Man of the Match along with Gerard Piqué and Samuel Umtiti, and his creepy smile before Kevin Gameiro's penalty is the Photo of the Night. What a guy.

3 - André Gomes deserves time and patience

I wasn't particularly excited about the Portuguese midfielder, but I'm always willing to give players the benefit of the doubt when they join Barça (see Arda Turan and Aleix Vidal). It's a very unique club to join, with unique pressure and expectations, and a unique style of football that takes time to learn and master. The 90 minutes Gomes had against Atlético were the perfect example of how his season has been: highs and lows. He was awful (like the whole team) for the first 30 minutes, but then he took the match by his hands and controlled the hell out of it until Sergi Roberto was sent off and the game changed. Gomes has a lot of talents, and with time he can be a very solid replacement to Sergio Busquets. WITH TIME, though. We need to wait. It's not a magic trick for young players who are new signings. I know it's impossible to have patience in today's football, but aren't we more than fans of more than a club?

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