The one all draw between Valencia and Barcelona on Sunday was overshadowed by the denial by the centre referee of Lionel Messi’s opening goal in the 30th minute.
A matter that goal line technology ought to have resolved very clearly left Barcelona players complaining and fuming about the injustice. La Liga, unlike other leagues in Europe has refused to embrace goal line technology.
Valencia goalkeeper Neto let the five-time World Player of the Year’s effort slip between his legs in the 30th minute and then tried in vain to scoop the ball to safety before it crossed the line.
However, to Messi’s amazement neither the referee, Ignacios Iglesias nor his assistant signalled for the goal to stand.
Unlike in Europe’s other major leagues such as the Premier League, Bundesliga and Serie A, La Liga president Javier Tebas has refused to introduce goal line technology due to concerns over cost.
It is not the first time Barca have paid the price for Tebas’s reluctance as they were also denied a clear goal in a 1-1 draw at Real Betis last season.
The thrilling top of the table clash at Estadio Mestalla ended 1-1, with Rodrigo scoring first for hosts Valencia in the 60th minute.
Jordi Alba, who rallied from the defence left-footed home a cross by Lionel Messi in the 82nd minute. Neto, Valencia’s keeper was clearly beaten.
The result of the match clipped Barcelona’s lead on the table to 35 points, four ahead of Valencia and eight adrift from third and fourth placed Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid.