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Crying foul: Guardiola says referees cost Barca

The manager was not overjoyed at the decisions to award his side two penalties last night.

Guardiola will step down as Barcelona manager at the end of the season.
Guardiola will step down as Barcelona manager at the end of the season.

OUTGOING BARCELONA COACH Pep Guardiola has criticised the standard of La Liga refereeing after his side’s 4-1 win over Malaga on Wednesday.

Barca, who have been rocked in the last eight days with their exit from the Champions League at the hands of Chelsea and the subsequent announcement of Guardiola’s departure, were awarded two penalties in the win.

But the victory meant little, with Real Madrid’s 3-0 win over Athletic Bilbao enough to seal the La Liga title and break Barca’s run of three successive Spanish championships.

And Guardiola believes it is a bit late to be awarding his club penalties they should have been getting earlier in the campaign.

“Two penalties? Now it’s not really needed anymore. It’s a bit late in the season to start giving us penalties,” Guardiola told reporters.

“Did the referees decide the league? The season has been very long, and a lot of things have happened. We’ve kept quiet, but the images are there.

“They can’t say we didn’t try to win the league because we tried to come back. We can now only, once again, congratulate Madrid for their success.”

Barcelona sit second in the Primera Division table, trailing Real by seven points with two more games to go.

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