Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone rued the referee’s lack of consistency in his decisions following Diego Costa’s red card in their 2-0 defeat at Barcelona.
Costa was given a straight red card on Saturday night upon insulting referee Jesus Gil Manzano in the 27th-minute.
The former Chelsea striker was upset with Manzano’s decision to not play an advantage for Atletico and confronted the official about it.
Costa’s actions provoked a quarrel involving several players before Gerard Pique stepped in and ensured the Spain international left the pitch.
The incident overshadowed an otherwise promising start for Atletico, who eventually fell to a 2-0 defeat to Barcelona following late goals from Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi.
“In the last 11 games here [at Camp Nou] we have received seven red cards,” said Simeone, according to AOL.
“We must be doing something wrong.
“I asked the referee and he told me something that Costa says he didn’t say. If he said it [what the referee claims], he is deservedly sent off.
“But other players have said things and he doesn’t send them off. We see it and they do not send them off.
“But that does not justify Costa’s actions. If the referee interprets that there was insult, he’s deservedly sent off, but it’s not always the same [outcome for every player].”
Atletico goalkeeper Jan Oblak was in fine form throughout the encounter by making eight saves. However, his teammates were simply not up to the task of breaking the Barcelona defence with 10-men.
Following the loss on Saturday, Los Colchoneros’ La Liga title hopes are effectively over now that they’ve fallen 11 points behind leaders Barcelona heading into the final seven games.
Nonetheless, Simeone refused to feel downcast about Atletico’s progress this term.
“Our season has not ended in any way,” he said. “We have to win as many points as possible.
“I value that we won the European Supercup, that we fought for the second place, and it is bad? I love it, I love that it is said to be bad [the season]. Do not forget where we are.”
Next up for Simeone’s side will be another La Liga match against Celta Vigo at the Wanda Metropolitano the following Saturday.