Barcelona striker Luis Suarez called Espanyol players “a waste of space” in an angry confrontation following an ill-tempered Copa del Rey match between the local rivals on Wednesday night.
The physical match ended 4-1 in Barca’s favour, with eight Espanyol players booked during proceedings and two sent off.
After the final whistle, a scuffle between the two teams occurred in the tunnel where, according to referee Martinez Munuera’s report, the former Liverpool man taunted his opponents.
“At the end of the game, once in the tunnel, Barca’s No. 9, Suarez, Luis, while the Espanyol players were coming up the stairs, waited for them and shouted at them on various occasions,” the report says, according to theMirror.
“He said: ‘I’m waiting for you, come here! You’re a waste of space.’
“It provoked a confrontation between players of both clubs and the present security guards had to get involved, as did coaches of both teams.”
Barca forward Luis Suarez, far left, argues with the Espanyol players during the Copa del Rey Round of 16 first leg match.
Andreas Iniesta played down the incident in his post-match interview, saying that a heated contest is part and parcel to local derbies.
“Violence is a very strong word, in games like this there’s a lot of rivalry and contact,” he said.
Later, Espanyol midfielder Papakouli Diop was less diplomatic when speaking to Cadena SER: “You can’t say we were violent. We didn’t draw blood. If we wanted, Barca players would’ve left on a stretcher.”
Espanyol will host the return leg of the Copa del Rey tie on Jan. 13.