Barcelona boss Xavi Hernandez fumed with the officials after his side were denied a late penalty in their Champions League defeat against Inter Milan.
The visiting side thought they were going to be awarded a late penalty after Inter defender Denzel Dumfries appeared to handle the ball when Ansu Fati appeared to be set to head an effort towards goal. There was a lengthy stoppage as VAR analysed the incident, but no penalty was awarded.
Hakan Calhanoglu’s strike on the stroke of half time proved to be decisive for Inter, who moved three points above Barca in the group standings and – coupled with Bayern Munich’s five-goal victory over Viktoria Plzen – ensured Xavi’s side lost ground to the top two in the group and they face the possibility of a second group stage elimination in consecutive seasons.
It was an encounter defined by officiating decisions; Inter thought they should have had a first-half penalty for an Eric Garcia handball but replays showed that Lautaro Martinez was fractionally offside just seconds before that incident.
Barcelona thought they had a second-half equaliser through Pedri, but replays showed Ansu Fati handled the ball in the build-up with the strike disallowed.
Yet it was the late handball call that infuriated Barca boss Xavi, who fumed after the game: “I’m p***** off because it’s an injustice that we’ve had to experience. We’ve suffered a very important defeat. We have three finals left in a very uncomfortable situation.”
Xavi then added, making the demand of the referee: “The referee should speak. For me, it’s a very clear handball. The referee is very important in this sport, and he should go out and give explanations. He didn’t want to give them to me. He gave me explanations of the plays he had cancelled, but I asked him about the last one.