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What can Barcelona & Real Madrid expect from El Clasico 2017 referee Hernandez Hernandez?

The match official admits "he can make mistakes"...

FC Barcelona v Real Madrid CF - La Liga Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images

If there’s one man who will be feeling the Clasico pressure more than most it is referee Hernandez Hernandez, particularly after more midweek refereeing controversy.

Real Madrid sailed into the semi-finals of the Champions League after some highly controversial decisions that left Bayern Munich seething and Carlo Ancelotti calling for VAR after the match.

Arturo Vidal saw red for a second yellow card, that wasn’t even a foul let alone a booking, before Cristiano Ronaldo scored two goals, both of which were offside.

"You can’t decide a Champions League semi-final spot like this,” fumed Ancelotti at full-time, Vidal went even further, calling it a "robbery".

Hernandez has sympathy for referee Viktor Kassai but is hoping to avoid similar controversy in what is bound to be a tense atmosphere at the Bernabeu, particularly given the importance of the match.

“I’m also on the pitch and I make mistakes… you have better games and worse games but Kassai’s ability and career are beyond doubt. Criticism is fine, but based on respect,” he told AS.

The 34-year-old has already felt the wrath of Barcelona this season after wrongly ruling out a goal that clearly crossed the line before Aissa Mandi hacked it away in a 1-1 draw with Real Betis back in January.

Hernandez says it can be difficult to get every decision correct, every time particularly due to the speed of the game.

“Our victory is to get all the decisions right,” he told AS.

“It’s difficult because there are so many during a game, they happen quickly and they’re difficult to judge, but we do our best, particularly to try and get the important decisions spot on so that the outcome of the game isn’t affected.”

Hernandez has seen plenty of Barcelona this summer, he has taken charge of seven games in total with the Blaugrana winning five, drawing one and losing one.

You can expect plenty of cards with Hernandez in charge too, not just because it’s a Clasico, but because in 19 games this season Hernandez has handed out 97 yellow cards and five red.

In fact in his last two games he’s sent two players off (one of those red cards was for Eliaquim Mangala in Barcelona’s 4-2 win over Valencia last month) and shown another 14 yellow cards.

Hernandez has already had a taste of Clasico controversy, having officiated the 2-1 win for Real Madrid at Camp Nou last season – a match which ended Barcelona’s 39-game unbeaten run.

The referee ruled out a goal for Gareth Bale and took until the 84th minute to hand Sergio Ramos a second yellow card, although that booking should have come much earlier.

Hernandez admitted he watched the game back afterwards and has warned both teams that he will mistakes, although hopefully not game-changing ones.

“We watched the game afterwards to analyse it,” he explained.

“After every game you look at your mistakes – and there are always mistakes – so that you don’t repeat them or at least try to minimize the possibility of doing so.

“It’s a privilege to referee two Clásicos in a year and you have to try and enjoy it, live the moment and may the best team win… and above all not through a mistake on our part.”

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