Ronald Koeman Blames VAR for FC Barcelona Loss to Real Madrid

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The manager of FC Barcelona, Ronald Koeman has blamed the Video Assistant Referee for the club’s defeat to Real Madrid on Saturday’s El Clasico. The Dutch tactician believes that the game changed for Real Madrid after the VAR awarded them a penalty in the 63rd minute.

Real Madrid‘s visit to Camp Nou on Saturday looked like it was destined to go their way from the very start of the match. Just within the first 5 minutes, Madrid’s striker, Karim Benzema assisted Federico Valverde to score the first goal of the match.

However, Real Madrid did not enjoy the lead for too long as FC Barcelona fought back and got back into the game within three minutes after Madrid’s goal. Jordi Alba’s cross was all 17-year-old Ansu Fati needed to set the record of being the youngest player to score in an El Classico.

From that point, it became impossible for both sides to break through each other defense despite a series of opportunities that flashed all through the period the draw lasted.

It was after the hour mark that Barcelona’s Clement Lenglet was spotted pulling the shirt of Madrid’s captain, Sergio Ramos in Barcelona’s eighteen-yard box. The 34-year-old Madrid’s defender fell but the center-referee, Juan Martínez Munuera, did not notice it.

The VAR was brought in to review the challenge. After a lengthy period of reviewing the challenge, the VAR ruled that it was a penalty offense. Ramos stepped up and scored the spot-kick. And Luka Modric sealed the victory in the 90th minute to make it 3-1.

Real Madrid's Luka Modric celebrates his goal against FC Barcelona.
Real Madrid’s Luka Modric celebrates his goal against FC Barcelona.

Ronald Koeman was not only angry that the VAR gifted a penalty for Lenglet’s challenge on Ramos, but he was also very angry that the VAR failed to award a penalty for Raphael Varane’s tackle on Lionel Messi and failure of the VAR to notice that Varane committed a handball in the match.

“I don’t understand VAR, I think it is only used to make decisions against Barca,” Ronald Koeman said after the match.

“You always get shirt tugs like that in the area and I think Ramos makes a foul on Lenglet first. There’s a tug of the shirt, but not enough to make him fall behind as he did. For me, it’s not a penalty.

“We have had five matches and [VAR] has only been used to go against Barca. It’s never gone our way.

“The decision had a big influence on the final result because we were playing well up to the penalty.”

The win has taken Real Madrid to the top of the Spanish La Liga table with 13 points in 6 matches. So far, the Spanish giants have won 4 La Liga matches, drew one, and lost one which means that their La Liga title defense is still on course. Their next La Liga match is at home against Huesca on October 31.

While Madrid’s bitter rivals, FC Barcelona, are rooted in the 12th spot on the La Liga table. So far, Lionel Messi and his teammates have managed to secure just 7 points in 5 matches after losing two matches, drawing one, and winning two. Their next La Liga match is away to Alaves on October 31.

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