Card-crazy World Cup ref Antonio Mateu Lahoz dishes out 15 yellows and two reds during fiery Barcelona vs Espanyol clash

CARD-CRAZY World Cup referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz is back in action.. and playing the pantomime villain this festive season.

The Spaniard, 45, was sent home from Qatar after showing 15 yellows and a red card in the heated quarter-final between Holland and eventual champions Argentina.

Card-crazy World Cup ref Antonio Mateu Lahoz showed 15 yellow cards and two red in the fiery 1-1 derby draw between Barcelona and EspanyolCredit: Getty

Mateu Lahoz sent off Barcelona's Jordi Alba and Espanyol's Vinicius Souza and also got carried away with his yellow

Mateu Lahoz sent off Barcelona’s Jordi Alba and Espanyol’s Vinicius Souza and also got carried away with his yellowCredit: AP

Mateu Lahoz stole the show in Argentina's penalty shootout win over Holland in the World Cup quarter-finals

Mateu Lahoz stole the show in Argentina’s penalty shootout win over Holland in the World Cup quarter-finalsCredit: Getty

And he was at it again in his first match back in LaLiga just three weeks on.

Mateu Lahoz took charge of Saturday’s fiery clash between Barcelona and Espanyol and couldn’t help but steal the show yet again.

He brandished 15 yellow cards, TWO reds and even awarded a late penalty to visitors Espanyol as they stole a 1-1 draw at the Nou Camp.

Barcelona had taken a seventh-minute lead thanks to ex-Chelsea star Marcos Alonso.

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The wing-back, 32, nodded home to give Xavi‘s side hope of increasing the gap over Real Madrid at the top of the LaLiga standings

But things quickly unravelled for Barca – who last won the league title in 2018-19.

Alonso went from hero to villain in a chaotic finale as he stood on Espanyol star Joselu’s heel.

The former Los Blancos striker made no mistake from the spot to ensure they made the short trip home across the city with a share of the spoils.

Soon after, Jordi Alba was sent off for Barcelona following a furious protest against a booking from Mateu Lahoz.

And Espanyol’s Vinicius Souza was also sent for an early bath for a foul on Robert Lewandowski minutes later.

Incredibly, Mateu Lahoz actually brandished THREE red cards in the feisty derby – with the one shown to the visitors’ Leandro Cabrera overturned by VAR.

Following a check, Cabrera’s challenge – a kick to the head of Robert Lewandowski – was deemed to only be worthy of a yellow.

But as both sides pushed for a winner, Mateu Lahoz once again produced a flurry of cards.

He booked THREE players in the sixth minute of added time – two of whom weren’t even on the pitch, including Barca sub Raphinha – as well as Xavi for heated protestations on the touchline.

The result leaves Barcelona top of LaLiga – but now only level on points with Real Madrid following their 2-0 win over Real Valladolid on Friday night.


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