Barca's Messi & Xavi Blame Ref For Espanyol Loss

The referee is at the centre of attention yet again, as Barcelona lay into him for his performance in the derby.
Barcelona's stars were under no doubt as to the reasons for their loss to Espanyol, laying the blame squarely at the feet of the referee...

Speaking to reporters after the match, Xavi said, "We are not saying that there is a campaign against Barca, but we have lost due to circumstances beyond our control."

"The referee ruined the game, and ensured that there was no rhythm," he continued. "The referees should protect offensive football, as our opponents always come to shut up shop, not to play football."

Lionel Messi echoed those sentiments, saying, "The expulsion changed the game, and it is important to talk about the referees so they can not just come here and do what they want."

Finally, Victor Valdes offered his brief thoughts, simply saying that the decision to send Seydou Keita off had been "problematic."

Arjun Miglani, Goal.com