Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez was incensed by what he saw as refereeing anomalies after his team was defeated 1-0 by Inter Milan in the Champions League on Tuesday.
Hakan Calhanoglu scored the game’s sole goal in first-half stoppage time, although the game was marred by controversy as Barcelona had an equaliser ruled out for handball before being denied a late penalty after Denzel Dumfries looked to handle the ball inside the area.
Inter have six points after three games in Group C, three less than Bayern Munich and three more than Barcelona. Inter and Barcelona will play again at Camp Nou on Wednesday.
“I am angry and indignant about what we have seen, it is an injustice,” Xavi fumed in a news conference after the game at the San Siro.
“I said it on Monday and I have to say it again: the referees have to come out and explain themselves because I don’t understand anything.
“[The referee] didn’t want to give me an explanation after the game. Referees have to speak; I can’t speak about a decision I have not made. For me, [the decisions were] crystal clear. I don’t understand it at all.”
Pedri’s 66th-minute equaliser was ruled out due to a handball in the build-up by Ansu Fati, while Xavi maintained that because it was inadvertent and Ansu was not the scorer, the goal should have remained.
Barca’s rage was amplified in stoppage time after a probable handball by Dumfries in the box was not called as a penalty.
The play was reviewed by VAR, however the referee was not summoned to the pitch side monitor, as he had been when Pedri’s goal was overturned.
“If you are asking how I am, I am outraged,” Xavi continued. “I don’t understand anything. If Ansu handballs it [involuntarily] but someone else then scores, it’s a goal. And they disallowed it.
“As for the other one [Dumfries’ possible handball]… I just do not understand. It’s an injustice, I can’t hide it. The referees have to speak.”
Inter coach Simone Inzaghi said he did not see the incidents, preferring to focus on a memorable win for his side, who came into the game on the back of a fourth defeat in eight Serie A games.
“It gives us great confidence beating a team of this quality,” he said. “We really needed it. I was feeling OK because on Saturday [a 2-1 loss to Roma], I saw good things from the team, but with errors which in other matches wouldn’t have cost us.”
Xavi also conceded that Barca must be self-critical after a second consecutive Champions League defeat left their chances of progression to the last 16 hanging in the balance.