Today's Barcelona papers: we'll still be arguing about this one next week | Photo: Tom Walton
We love a good argument in Barcelona (particularly those relating to football or politics) and the weekend's Espanyol-Barça derby provided us with fuel for lots.
First there was the ref (always good for a spot of polémica), who sent an Espanyol player off after a 50-50 challenge when he should either have ignored what happened or sent off a Barça player as well; booked Espanyol players left, right and centre but not those of Barça; and then awarded a very late penalty for a blatant dive, to hand Barça the game, 1-2. "We was robbed," said Espanyol president Daniel Sánchez Llibre, with some justification.
Then there were the flares fired at their rivals by the Barça "Boixos Nois" fans, despite a strict ban on bringing such things into football grounds. "It was Espanyol's fault," said the police; "It was the fault of the police," said Espanyol. "La sensación en Montjuïc fue que se rozó la tragedia por la pasividad policial," says El Mundo Deportivo, for once saying something sensible.
"The Boixos Nois", who are no longer welcome at the Nou Camp, "are nothing to do with us," said Barça president Joan Laporta, a message which didn't seem to have reached the Barça players, who celebrated joyously with them, which Espanyol now intend to report to Spanish football's Antiviolence Commission.
Mr Laporta didn't endear himself to anyone by wagging his finger accusingly at everyone sitting with him in the Espanyol president's box. "A los jugadores del Barça que ni me los toquen", he said, according to Sport.es, a newspaper recently aptly described by The Guardian as "a comic".
"Los 'boixos' siembran la alarma social," the Madrid-based As.com weighed in, perhaps secretly happy that such things happen in Barcelona (happily very rarely, it should be said).
It is only a game. Only, here in Barcelona, you wouldn't think so…