A frustrated Sergio Busquets hit out at the inconsistency of referee Javier Alberola Rojas and questioned why Barcelona did not benefit from a VAR review, after they were denied an injury-time penalty in a thrilling 2-2 draw at Real Sociedad.
Fourth-placed Sociedad were good value for their point against the reigning La Liga champions, which was earned through Alexander Isak’s 62nd-minute strike after Barca had come from a goal down to lead.
However, the visitors felt they should have had a late spot-kick when Gerard Pique claimed his shirt had been pulled by Diego Llorente as the pair fell to the ground in the Sociedad box.
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Barca’s frustrations were heightened by the fact they had fallen behind to a Mikel Oyarzabal penalty, awarded when Busquets was ruled to have tugged the jersey of Llorente.
“If you set the bar so low for the first penalty, you have to give so many more penalties,” insisted Busquets.
“VAR would have to have intervened in that final play. The penalty on Pique is so clear.
“I think the referee saw it, but he didn’t want to blow the whistle. I don’t know why VAR didn’t intervene. I would like to know their explanation, but it’s not going to happen.”
Busquets was able to speak more positively about Antoine Griezmann, who marked his latest return to his first professional club with Barca’s first goal, courtesy of a delightful chipped finish.
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“We knew it was special for Antoine, because of his past,” added Busquets. “He did not want to celebrate the goal, which is respectable, but for us that goal, and his work as usual, has been very good for us.”
Griezmann said: “I will never celebrate a goal against Real. I have a lot of respect for everything they gave me.”
While he opted not to recognise his effort against Sociedad, Griezmann is already looking forward to his next opportunity to hit the net – against arch-rivals Real Madrid on Wednesday.
The World Cup winner said: “The two teams had their moments in the game.
“When we equalised we found our confidence and created chances, then it was La Real who had to equalise in the second half.
“I don’t know if (the result) is just or not. The reality is that two teams had chances to win. Now is the moment to start thinking about the Clasico.”