‘Read the Room’ – Xavi’s Perspective on Referee Post-Barcelona-PSG Sparks Expert Commentary

FC Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez was vocal about the refereeing in their 4-1 second-leg loss to Paris Saint-Germain last Tuesday. However, one expert believes that the Spanish tactician should’ve read the room with his remarks.

Initially trailing 1-0, PSG got a boost when Ronald Araújo was sent off after a foul on Bradley Barcola. From that point on, the Spanish team fell apart as they conceded four unanswered goals to the Parisians, which also included a penalty kick call. 

As a result, CBS Sports‘ Jonathan Johnson does have sympathy for Xavi and Co. because he notes that the game began to slip away. Still, Johnson adds a Barcelona manager talking about the referee in a PSG-Barcelona contest does have some irony. 

“Sympathy to an extent because it is frustrating when you get bizarre refereeing decisions against you,” Johnson told PSG Talk. “Equally, sometimes there can be refereeing decisions that you completely don’t expect that work in your favor. I think Xavi probably needed to read the room a little bit better in terms of comments about refereeing specific to PSG Barcelona and the history that came before in this fixture. 

“I’m not saying what goes around comes around, but that saying does have a bit of truth here. We know the role that the referee played in making remontada a possibility. I’m sure that that irony maybe wasn’t lost on Luis Enrique if he had Xavi’s comments. But I think overall, Xavi and the Barcelona staff, you could see that they could feel the game was slipping away from them, and there’s massive frustration on their part, and a massive loss of composure and discipline after that Araújo red card in the first half.”

In 2017, the Catalan side benefited from beneficial calls from the referee that led to their remontada. Even in 2020, a report revealed that UEFA’s Disciplinary Committee statement recognized that referee Deniz Aytekin “failed in the exercise of his functions during this meeting.”

Despite having a few days to cool off, Xavi remains adamant that there was an injustice occurring during that second leg.

Tags Barcelona Champions League Xavi Hernandez
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