Sometimes the only way to stop Lionel Messi is, well, illegally.
The Barcelona forward was denied as clear a goal as you’ll ever see against Valencia on Sunday in their top of the table La Liga clash.
The lively encounter finished 1-1, with Jordi Alba’s late equaliser cancelling out Rodrigo’s opener.
But Barca should have been ahead in the first half when the officially failed to spot Messi’s shot had crossed the line.
By his high standards the Argentine’s shot was relatively weak, but Valencia goalkeeper Neto failed to handle it and dropped it behind him.
Neto clawed the ball away, but as the images below show it was quite clearly too little too late.
Or so you’d think.
Just about everyone in the Mestalla recognised it should have been a goal except for the officials, who allowed play to go on.
Valencia then ran up the other end and nearly scored themselves, only for Simone Zaza to drag his shot wide.
The Barcelona players were understandably livid, berating the referee and linesman for such an obvious mistake.
If Zaza had found the net too, all hell would have broken loose.
Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde, however, had a more composed understanding of the incident and referred back to a decision that went in their favour against Malaga last month.
Against Málaga we scored when the ball had gone out of bounds. We’re all affected by the refs.”
You win some, you lose some.