Before we get to the questionable officiating during Osasuna’s surprise 3-2 win over Barcelona it should be pointed out that the Catalans will likely find themselves 10 points behind Real Madrid this evening, due to their own shortcomings.
Like many of their away performances in 2011/2012, Barcelona were far from their best on Saturday night and came a cropper despite the wide held assertion that there are only two good teams in La Liga.
Without Xavi and Iniesta, the Catalan giants are not the well oiled machine that has dominated European football in recent years and Real Madrid have been in excellent form over the last few months with Jose Mourinho overseeing his trademark second season dominance.
There were though three suspect offside decisions that have angered the Barcelona press and will set many a conspiracy theorist to investigate their defeat at Osasuna a little further.
1. At 1-0 down, Alexis Sanchez, one of Barcelona’s few players to impress in Pamplona, was set free in behind the Osasuna defence. The linesman flagged, but as the picture above proves, the Chilean winger looked to have been offside. Footage of this incident can be seen at the start of this video.
2. Instead of potentially drawing level at 1-1, Barcelona were 2-0 down at the break and question marks have been raised over Osasuna’s second goal. Raul Garcia was a key player in the win, scoring one and having a hand in the other two goals. For Dejan Lekic’s second goal it appears that Garcia was offside when he initially received the ball, before playing it to the right for the cross. Video of Osasuna’s second goal is here.
3. The final incident that really seemed to get Barcelona players and officials irate was Alexis Sanchez having what looked like a legal goal ruled out for offside with ten minutes remaining – which would have levelled things up at 3-3. It isn’t easy to see from footage of the goal whether a Barcelona player got a flick on and the fact referee José Luis Paradas Romero appeared to make the decision angered the likes of Xavi and Pep Guardiola on the Barca bench.
So much so, that Guardiola, after watching the incident again on a TV screen by the bench, remonstrated with the linesman on the touchline in a rare show of anger from the Barca boss.