Spain’s two biggest football clubs haven’t been happy with refereeing, with Real Madrid the latest to take a swipe at the officials in the wake of Wednesday’s controversial goalless draw in El Clasico.
Managers complaining about decisions after games is nothing new but Real Madrid took the unusual step of criticizing referee Alejandro Jose Hernandez Hernandez and VAR on its website.
It flagged two incidents involving defender Raphael Varane in the first half in Barcelona’s Camp Nou stadium and specifically mentioned Hernandez Hernandez and Ricardo De Burgos Bengoetxea, who, according to Real Madrid, was in charge of VAR.
“Neither referee nor VAR system saw two penalties on Varane,” was the headline it used Wednesday, alongside a picture of the French international seemingly having his shirt pulled in the Barcelona penalty box by Ivan Rakitic.
Then it wrote: “Raphael Varane was involved in two controversial moments in el Clásico at the Camp Nou.
“The Frenchman could have had two penalties in the first half but Hernandez Hernandez did not give (either) of them. On minute 17, the madridista went to head a corner before (Clement) Lenglet stood on his thigh muscle in the area, but neither the referee nor VAR (where De Burgos Bengoetxea was in charge) deemed it a penalty.
“Two minutes later and following another corner, the central defender had his shirt pulled by Ivan Rakitic, which saw him end up on the ground in the penalty area. However, once again, neither the referee or the VAR system decided to award the penalty.”
Madrid based sports newspaper AS used a photo of Lenglet making contact with Varane on its front page, accompanied by a headline of, “White Tsunami without goal and without VAR.”
Neither La Liga or the Spanish Football Federation’s Technical Committee for Referees, which assigns officials was immediately available for comment.
Varane’s injured thigh
And in a story recounting the incidents, it incorporated a tweet showing Varane’s thigh with red stud marks.
But at least publicly, Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane didn’t add fuel to the fire, saying he wasn’t going to “dwell on these things.”
“After the performance we put in, we could have won the game, but that’s the way things go in football,” Zidane was quoted as saying by the Real Madrid website. “We can’t dwell on it any more.”
It was Barcelona’s turn to be upset about the officials in its 2-2 draw at Real Sociedad on Saturday.
Giving away a penalty in the first half for Sergio Busquets’ shirt pull on Diego Llorente, referee Javier Alberola Roja waived away Barcelona appeals when defender Gerard Pique went down in the Sociedad box for what appeared to be a shirt tug by Llorente.
“I will say that the one on Pique is a penalty and Busquets’ isn’t,” Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde was quoted as saying by Sport.es.
Barcelona leads Real Madrid on goal difference atop La Liga ahead of this weekend’s fixtures prior to the nearly two-week Christmas break in Spain.
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Barcelona hosts relegation threatened Alaves while Real Madrid entertains seventh-place Athletic Bilbao.