MADRID (AP)Espanyol challenged the result of the derby against Barcelona to Spanish officials on Monday, alleging striker Robert Lewandowski was ineligible because of a suspension.
The teams drew 1-1 on Saturday in La Liga. Espanyol played under protest because Lewandowski appeared after being sent off in Barcelona’s previous league game.
A court in Madrid on Friday ruled that Lewandowski, the league top scorer, was allowed to play until Spain’s administrative court for sport made a final ruling on the appeal that Barcelona lodged against his three-game suspension for consecutive yellow cards in the game at Osasuna on Nov. 8.
Espanyol said it was harmed by the unexpected decision by the Madrid court to temporarily lift the suspension. Lewandowski played a part in Marcos Alonso’s goal for Barcelona in the seventh minute at the Camp Nou. The goal helped Barcelona remain unbeaten against Espanyol since 2009.
”Espanyol will use all the resources at its disposal to defend its interests and that of our fans, aware that this flagrant injustice puts the essence of our competition at risk and that this injustice is based on a hasty resolution and with obvious legal deficiencies,” Espanyol said in a statement on Monday.
The club said it notified the officiating crew before Saturday’s match about Lewandowski’s ineligibility.
Lewandowski could still be suspended if the administrative court for sport rules against Barcelona’s appeal.
The Poland striker received a one-game suspension when he was sent off for a second yellow card during Barcelona’s 2-1 comeback win at Osasuna, and the Spanish federation competition committee added two more games because of what it called the player’s ”show of disrespect” toward the referee following his sending off.
Referee Gil Manzano wrote in his match report that Lewandowski twice pointed at his nose before pointing his thumb at the referee in a gesture that Manzano interpreted as being disrespectful.
Barcelona, tied on points with Real Madrid at the top of the league standings after 15 matches, next visits fourth-placed Atletico Madrid. It plays in the Copa del Rey on Wednesday.
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