A topsy-turvy couple of weeks in Spain has hinted at a changing of the guard in La Liga.
Amid all the upheaval, perhaps the most bizarre change of all is Real Madrid centre-back Pepe’s staking an unlikely claim to the moral high ground.
Despite regularly picking up red cards and fines for his part in a variety of unsavoury incidents, the shrinking violet has been shocked at Barcelona’s response to losing two El Clasicos in a week.
He said: “I saw Barca in situations I would never have expected. The players surrounded the referee at the end of the game to challenge him. It’s an ugly side that we’re not used to. They are upset by losing games to us.”
This is Pepe was received a two-match ban for confronting a referee after a defeat to Villarreal last year.
And Pepe who managed to spark a mini-brawl against Barca last week despite only being on the pitch for a few minutes.