Xavi was full of praise for referee Mateu Lahoz ahead of Barcelona’s clash with Espanyol but, unsurprisingly, had changed his tune after Saturday’s 1-1 draw.
Lahoz stole the show at the Camp Nou, handing out yellow cards for fun in a chaotic game, and Xavi made it clear what he thought of the match official after the win.
“The game got away from him today. He was giving out cards without any reason and lost control of the match,” he said.
“But it’s not his fault we drew, it’s our fault we dropped points. I told him that he had lost control of the game. ‘Do you think?’ he said to me.
“But we keep coming back to the referee and I can’t control the officials. They should come out and speak, explain their decisions and say what they said to the players. I can’t do anything.”
Xavi also admitted his own team were to blame for the result, not just Lahoz.
“It’s down to us. When you have so many chances, get forward so many times, but aren’t clinical, it is your fault,” he added.
“We had an excellent first 30 minutes, but we didn’t know how to kill the game off. In the second half, we weren’t at the rhythm or intensity required.
“We end the year top of the league with Real Madrid, but it’s two points dropped today and it’s our fault.”
Barcelona are still top of the table but have seen their two-point advantage over Real Madrid wiped out. It was great to see the team back in action after the World Cup but undoubtedly a disappointing result.