Barcelona drew a wild, nasty, crazy, ludicrous Clásico against Real Madrid 2-2, with an utterly dreadful performance from referee Alejandro José Hernández Hernández. It’s common for one team to feel particularly hard done by, and not always for logical reasons, but this time, both sets of fans were upset with his work. Considering it was a draw with only pride on the line, that’s kind of a big deal, isn’t it?
We could spend all day talking about the myriad controversies and whether one team or the other got more out of the refereeing than the other, but at the end of the day it will be hard to reach 100% agreement on that score. Instead of going that route for the millionth time, let’s focus on what we all agree on: the greatest game on the planet deserves the greatest referee in charge... or at least not... whatever that was.
It’s too bad because there is real danger of the referee overshadowing the game, which was crazy. Barcelona played their hearts out despite being a man down, while Madrid successfully came back twice from being a goal down. Both teams, probably, feel that had one or two rather outrageous decisions gone down differently, they would have won. They also, probably, deep down feel the result - a draw - was fair.
Next year, technology will help referees in La Liga, which will hopefully alleviate the problem. But it can only do so much. And remember, Hernández Hernández is a three-time La Liga referee of the year winner. Doesn’t speak too well for the rest of the refs, does it?
It’s not always fair to go after the referee, they do (theoretically at least) try their best, and it’s a very tough job. But at the same time, there has to be accountability. And when one of the talking points post-match is the plethora of decisions you got wrong for each side, something’s gotta change.