With all of the talk surrounding impartial referees in Spain, a stat released by Opta has worryingly revealed that Barcelona are the only team left in La Liga not have conceded a penalty this season.
Espanyol's 2-1 victory over Real Betis on Friday evening may have had little impact at either end of the table in Spain's top flight, but it means that Luis Enrique's men stand alone as the only side not to have had a penalty given against them.
1 - With this penalty conceded by Espanyol, FC Barcelona are the only side yet to concede a penalty in La Liga this season. Alone.— OptaJose (@OptaJose)
31 March 2017
Espanyol had been the only other team in La Liga to share that stat in common with Barca, however, Ruben Castro converted his spot kick against them on Friday evening to mean that they have now joined a further 18 La Liga clubs to have conceded from the spot this season.
AS reported back in February that Barcelona were celebrating their one year anniversary since they last had a penalty awarded against them in the league, with columnist Tomas Roncero even going as far as suggesting that match officials 'roll out the red carpet' for the Catalans.
Penalty originally not given until Barcelona players employ the 5 second press. Great to see. pic.twitter.com/m3717gEZzz— Paddy Power (@paddypower)
March 8, 2017
Whilst Gerard Pique may have been at war with referees for much of the season, it is surprising that the Blaugrana haven't had a penalty awarded against them in the league for close to 14 months.
It seems those questions about possible favouritism towards Barca are only likely to increase now that they stand alone as the only team in Spain not have conceded a penalty and with just 10 games of the season remaining, few would bet against them going an entire campaign without having one awarded against them.