Javier Mascherano admits PSG should have had a penalty during Barcelona's incredible comeback
The defender claimed he denied Angel Di Maria a goalscoring opportunity
What’s the story?
Despite what’s been said and done after Barcelona’s miraculous comeback there are still several things that remain in the dark. Some have argued that the Catalans got some of the refereeing decisions in their favor.
Mascherano has decided to admit that one of those decisions that could have gone PSG’s way. When the visitors were 3-1 up in the second half, Angel Di Maria had the opportunity to make it 3-2 when he was put through on goal but he skewed his shot horribly wide with Mascherano trying to make a last-ditch tackle.
But apparently, Di Maria’s poor miss was not just down to the forward’s finishing. Speaking to reporters after the game Mascherano had this to say, “I made contact with Di María, It’s obvious it was a foul. I’m not going to lie about it.”
In case you didn’t know...
There were other debatable penalty calls apart from the one Mascherano is talking about. The Suarez penalty incident was also highly controversial but the referee had a tough call to make given the timing of the incident.
The heart of the matter
Javier Mascherano played a vital role in preventing PSG from getting more than that one away goal. But his admission is surprising given most people on the day thought Di maria tripped up on his own feet.
The clearance from Ter Stegen was what handed Di Maria the opportunity in the first place. The Argentine's eyes lit up as he approached the German with a chance to put the game beyond any doubt.
Unfortunately, he completely missed his kick and it ended up hitting the side hoardings. Looking back that was probably the turning point of the game. A few minutes later Neymar scored an incredible free-kick and the rest is history.
The PSG fans were so upset at the team’s capitulation on the night that fans waited until players arrived at the airport and hounded them while they tried to drive away. Unai Emery no doubt will some questions to answer after the defeat but so will the referees.
That loss will also not be good news for their pursuit of the Ligue 1 title. PSG are currently 3 points behind free-scoring AS Monaco and have some serious catching up to do.
Despite what Mascherano claims to be a foul, replays show that a nanosecond before he made contact Di maria had already released his shot and it was going wide. It might also have been the reason he did not appeal for a penalty knowing that it was he who missed it in the end.