To say Atletico Madrid’ were furious with the referee’s decision to send off striker Fernando Torres in the first half of their Champions League tie on Tuesday would be something of an understatement.
Atleti defender Filipe Luis went as far as to say that:
“The sending off is totally unjust and changed the game.”
“Barcelona are protected. When you play against them you realize that they are a very powerful club.
“You realize the fear when Barcelona could get knocked out. It would hurt UEFA a lot.
Strong words from the defender but conspiracy theorists say that he has a point. Barcelona have played in 215 Champions League games and enjoyed a numerical superiority in 31 of these games, this equates to 14 percent of the games they have played, more than any other team in Champions League history.
No other club comes close to having as many opponents sent-off against them in Europe as Barcelona does:
The red cards have not always worked to Barca’s advantage. John Terry was sent off after fouling Alexis Sanchez in 2011/12, but the London based team managed to hang on for a famous draw that ensured their passage to the next round.
Jose Mourinho’s Inter also managed to overcome a red card, going through in the second leg of the 2009/10 semi-final, despite Thiago Motta being sent off after 28 minutes at the Camp Nou in a ridiculous decision.
Do you think that referee’s favor Barca in Europe?