Valverde, Alba and Busquets united in dismay over 'clear' Messi goal
Lionel Messi controversially saw a clear goal not given in Barcelona's draw with Valencia, leaving players and the coach stunned.
Jordi Alba, Sergio Busquets and coach Ernesto Valverde all voiced their dismay at the officials' decision to not allow a "clear" Lionel Messi goal in Sunday's 1-1 draw with Valencia.
LaLiga leaders Barca dominated the first half and thought they had a deserved lead after 30 minutes when Messi's first-time effort from the edge of the area was dropped by Neto.
The ball squirmed between the goalkeeper's legs and clearly crossed the goal line by about a yard, but referee Ignacio Iglesias Villanueva and his assistants failed to spot it, denying Messi a certain goal.
Alba ultimately salvaged Barca a point with a late equaliser, but there was more than a hint of frustration in their ranks as they effectively dropped two points through no fault of their own.
30: Messi's shot is fumbled by Valencia keeper Neto and the replay shows the ball crossed the goaline but it is not given by the officials #ValenciaBarça (0-0)— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) November 26, 2017
"Everyone saw the cancelled goal," Alba told beIN SPORTS.
"We watched it on video and this happened before against Betis too. The cancelled goal was clear. Video technology is needed."
"The same thing [cancelled goal] happened to us last season. We lost the league because of those points.
"I was in the middle of the field and even I could see the ball had crossed the line."
Sergio Busquets added: "We don't feel very good. It was a clear goal, but the referee and the assistant did not see it. We tied, but we deserved more."
Valverde came away from the match content that Barca remain in the exact same position as before the game, though he conceded that the goal controversy impacted his players.
"It was a good game," he said. "We're happy that we did not move from our position in the standings for the worse. We had a lot of courage going into the game; we wanted to win.
"We were in total control in the first half and we had a goal cancelled. In the second half, Valencia decided to pressure us and move forward more. Their goal hurt us, so we moved forward to attack more.
"The cancelled goal damaged us and it was the wrong decision by the assistant referee."