Spanish referee wins praise for ‘virtually flawless’ performance in Man City vs. Napoli

When Antonio Mateu Lahoz was appointed referee for Manchester City’s Champions League tie with Napoli at the Etihad Stadium, many Blues were anxious after recalling some controversial decisions he made in City’s 5-3 win over Monaco last year.

Known to be a fussy referee, the Spaniard has something of a reputation – but his display in City’s 2-1 win over Napoli has won praise back in Spain.

Xavier Bosch of Mundo Deportivo wrote in today’s edition, “The Valencian referee Mateu Lahoz had, in my opinion, a virtually flawless performance in this spectacle.

He was also good in Atlético-Barça on Saturday. At last, it seems he has found the right balance between letting the game flow and blowing his whistle.”

Lahoz handed out five yellow cards in total, three to the hosts and two to Napoli. The most controversial was undoubtedly Kevin De Bruyne’s, which enraged the City star who had to be restrained at half-time by David Silva – leading to a brief row between the two.

The 40-year-old also gave Napoli two penalties, and while any fan who sees their team punished in that way won’t be happy, the reality is both were nailed on and the right call.

Do you think Lahoz had a ‘virtually flawless’ performance? He was certainly less controversial than in the City vs. Monaco game, when he booked Sergio Aguero for diving when the Argentine was clearly fouled in the box.

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