The jinx continues in Gran Canaria
Espanyol departs fruitless from Las Palmas in a locked and controversial match
Espanyol departed Gran Canaria with a defeat that mars, in some way, the start of the year and the excellent path they were on. The blue and whites were not accurate in some moments of the game and ended without a prize in a confrontation that could have gone towards the visiting side before the only home goal. In addition, apart from the coach's and players' self-criticism at the end, the game will be marked by the different standards used by the VAR over the 90 minutes. Just after the first minute of play, the ball seemed to hit Keidi Bare's arm. The referee did not perceive it to be intentional, and neither did the VAR offer a sufficiently clear image in the face of the timid protests from the Canaria bench.
The game went smoothly. UD Las Palmas seemed to have more possession, but without unsettling Diego Lopez at any time. The blue and whites, on the other hand, were unable to find flow in attack until RDT had a shot so easy it seemed impossible that the ball ended up over the baseline. On the next play, Keidi claimed that he had been fouled but the game continued and, after a couple of rebounds, Rober got past Diego Lopez. From 0-1 to 1-0 in 60 seconds.
The disadvantage got the blue and whites up and running one more time, and they approached Alex Dominguez's goal more diligently. Darder and Embarba missed a couple of times before the break.
As soon as the second half began, the referee admonished Lluis Lopez for a clash with Rober in the dispute of a ball divided outside the area. When the foul was about to be launched, the referee heeded the VAR's request and expelled the centre back, considering him to be the last player in an action that did not seem particularly punishable.
Espanyol had to continue pulling out all the stops despite trailing on the scoreboard and having to play the entire second half with one player less. Nico Melamed managed to tie the game after a brilliant individual action. With the ball already in the centre of the field, waiting to be played, the referee listened to his headset again and annulled the goal for an offside by RDT much earlier. Nobody understood what was going on, which led the game to get complicated and messy in the last quarter of an hour, with constant interruptions and nerves on both sides. In the end, neither a hand claimed by Wu Lei within the area nor a possible tackle of Melamed, also within the area, was taken into account when he aimed for the baseline.