Controversial World Cup referee Lahoz sends off THREE players in three minutes in fiery Barcelona-Espanyol derby

Referee Mateu Lahoz showed three red cards in short order during Barcelona's 1-1 draw with Espanyol on Saturday - though one was overturned.
  • Three red cards shown
  • Cabrera dismissal later reversed
  • Handed out 16 total yellow cards

WHAT HAPPENED? Spanish referee Antonio Lahoz was the centre of attention in Barcelona's 1-1 draw with local rivals Espanyol after showing three red cards in just three minutes. An altercation started by a foul on Robert Lewandowski resulted in the trigger-happy referee losing control of the match. Vinicius Souza and Edu Exposito were both initially shown yellow cards for their roles in the scuffle. They were then joined in the book by Jordi Alba, Ferran Torres, and Pedri. Dismayed by his booking, Alba talked himself into a sending off. Souza then received his second yellow for further arguing with the referee.

Espanyol captain Leandro Cabrera, meanwhile, was shown a straight red for what seemed to be a kick on Lewandowski, but it was later rescinded after Lahoz was summoned to the VAR monitor.

WHAT THEY SAID: "He is a referee who dominates and controls the matches," Xavi said. "He has handed out meaningless cards. He has to be calm, with a low heart rate... and he is like that but not today. He has thrown the game out of control."


Referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz La Liga Barcelona Espanyol 2022-23

Sergio Busquets Barcelona referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz 2022-23

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Lahoz has become well known for showing multiple cards during the games he officiates but this was a lot, even for him. Both Alba and Souza will miss games against Atletico Madrid and Girona, respectively.

WHAT NEXT FOR LAHOZ?: Having made a name for himself at the Qatar 2022 World Cup with some contentious decisions, the official will continue to referee in La Liga with extra attention placed upon him.