Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane has expressed his displeasure with the incessant discussion about Madrid being favoured by the referees in their 2-1 win over Real Sociedad on Sunday. The win which catapulted them from second place to first with equal points as Barcelona ended with a number of talking points.
The first talking point emanated from a disallowed goal from Real Sociedad’s Adnan Januzaj. The referee ruled out the goal for a Mikel Merino’s offside which many believe was not a fair call. The goal would have seen the host equalise 1-1 but the goal didn’t stand.
Some critics even faulted the penalty the referee awarded to Real Madrid which Sergio Ramos, the captain of the side, converted beautifully, after a Real Sociedad’s player fouled on Vinicius Junior in the box 18. The goal gave the visitors an early 1-0 lead which Madrid held on to until Kareem Benzema scored the winning goal.
The winning goal has been another talking point because it looked like a handball. But the centre referee allowed the goal to stand because he believed that the Frenchman controlled Federico Valverde’s cross with his shoulder, not his hand. After seconds of agitations, the centre referee decided to consult the Video Assistance Referee (VAR) and the goal was allowed to stand.
Mikel Merino’s late strike could not change much as the match ended 2-1 in favour of Real Madrid and send them ahead of Barcelona because of superior head-to-head. Recalled that Real Madrid has beaten Barcelona home and away in the league this season.
Hence, Zinedine Zidane wants the press and every other stakeholder not to focus on the performance of the referee and the VAR but on the performance of his players who he said deserved the hard-fought victory.
“What bothers me is that in the end we only talk about the referees, it seems that we have not done anything on the field,” Zinedine Zidane told a news conference on Sunday.
“But we are not going to control the controversy. We won on the field and I think the victory is deserved. There is a penalty and I think that for the goal, Karim touches it with his shoulder.
“These are things of the referee and as always I do not get involved, he does his job and nothing else. I have to respect these things and think only about what we did. It is a deserved victory, which is the most important thing for us.”
Real Madrid has 8 matches to hold on to the top position. If they can win all the 8 matches, they will be guaranteed the Spanish La Liga title. They will continue their journey on Wednesday when they welcome Real Mallorca.