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Messi's goal disallowed

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

MADRID - Jordi Alba's late strike rescued Barcelona a point in a 1-1 draw with Valencia on Sunday which kept things as they were in the Spanish title race, but a Lionel Messi "goal" which wasn't given dominated the headlines.

The Argentine forward's shot in the 30th minute was fumbled by Neto and the ball crossed the line before the Valencia goalkeeper hooked it back and the game continued.

Referee Ignacio Iglesias Villanueva and his assistants did not award the goal and Valencia played on while Barcelona players celebrated the goal which would have put them 1-0 up.

"Scandal," read the front page of Mundo Deportivo on Monday, while Sport said it was "a refereeing robbery".

La Liga is the only one of the big five European leagues that does not yet use either video or goalline technology to help get the key decisions right.

Madrid's newspapers Marca and AS both acknowledged the controversy and that the result means the race for La Liga is still on.

The draw leaves Barcelona four points clear of Valencia and eight ahead of both Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid.

Marca journalist Diego Pico wrote: "A huge mistake from the refereeing team which unleashes an old controversy. Technology is more than necessary, especially for goals like this which aren't even 'ghost goals'."

La Liga president Javier Tebas said earlier in November that the VAR (Video Assistant Referee) system would be introduced next season.

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