Barcelona’s French defender Lucas Digne (L) speaks with coach Luis Enrique (C) during the Spanish Copa del Rey (King’s Cup) quarter final first leg football match Real Sociedad vs FC Barcelona at the Anoeta stadium in San Sebastian on January 19, 2017.
ANDER GILLENEA / AFP
Barcelona coach Luis Enrique called on the Spanish football authorities to introduce goal line technology after his side was denied a clear goal as they were held to a 1-1 draw at Real Betis on Sunday.
Barca should have been level seconds after Alex Alegria’s opener for Betis 15 minutes from time when Riza Durmisi deflected a cross towards his own goal and the ball crossed the line before Aissa Mandi’s desperate clearance.
“I have seen a photo. It is the same debate as always, the referees need help,” said Enrique. “The technology can help them. I say that for all situations not just ones that go for me, but against me too.”
Unlike the Premier League and Serie A, La Liga has so far refused to install goal line technology with La Liga president Javier Tebas citing cost as his main concern.
Barca eventually salvaged a point in the final minute as Luis Suarez swept home Lionel Messi’s defence splitting pass. However, the Catalans missed the chance to go top of the table ahead of Real Madrid’s clash with Real Sociedad later on Sunday.
Madrid still lead Barca by a point and now have two games in hand. And despite their misfortune, Suarez and Enrique recognised that Barca were well below par in a match that Betis dominated for 75 minutes.
“We are aware that we didn’t play well and we have to be critical of ourselves,” said Suarez. “We are obliged to win and now we have to wait for those at the top of the table to lose.”
Betis had hit the crossbar and post through Dani Ceballos and Ruben Castro in the second-half before Alegria finally put them in front. And Castro also missed a one-on-one with Marc-Andre ter Stegen with the score at 1-0.
“In the first-half we made quite a few mistakes and they had good counter-attacks without having clear chances,” added Enrique. “In the second-half until they scored they were clearly the better team and we were a long way from our best. “Possibly the sensations after the last few minutes change the impression of things, but I think we have clearly won a point (rather than lost two).”