Gundogan's Controversial Penalty Secures Barcelona's 2-1 Comeback in La Liga
|Ilkay Gundogan of FC Barcelona celebrates 1-2 during the LaLiga EA Sports match between Las Palmas v FC Barcelona at the Gran Canaria Stadium on January 4, 2024 in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Spain(Image-Getty)
Ilkay Gundogan's contentious stoppage-time penalty secured a dramatic 2-1 comeback victory for Barcelona against 10-man Las Palmas in a heated LaLiga encounter on Thursday.
Las Palmas took the lead in the 12th minute, with former Barcelona midfielder Sandro Ramirez assisting Munir El Haddadi, who fired home from close range. The hosts dominated the first half, but Barcelona leveled the score 10 minutes into the second half when a defensive error allowed Sergi Roberto to set up Ferran Torres, who beat Las Palmas keeper Alvaro Valles with a scruffy finish.
In added time, Las Palmas defender Daley Sinkgraven received a red card for a push on Gundogan, leading to the controversial stoppage-time penalty that Gundogan converted.
Las Palmas captain Kirian Rodriguez expressed frustration, stating, "I hope all the audios come out, it's not normal. It's a question of referees appearing as little as possible, not of them being more important than the players."
Barcelona coach Xavi defended the penalty decision, saying, "There is always tension. There are nerves, everyone wants to win. If you talk to me about the penalty, it seems clear to me... it's a push, and it's a penalty."
The win propelled Barcelona to third place in the LaLiga standings with 41 points, trailing leaders Real Madrid and Girona by seven points. Their upcoming fixtures include a Copa del Rey clash against Barbastro on Sunday and a Spanish Super Cup semi-final against Osasuna on Thursday.