La Liga news

Madrid papers hit out at clasico referee

October 28, 2013
By Dermot Corrigan, Spain Correspondent

Two days after Barcelona beat Real Madrid 2-1 in the first clasico of the season at the Camp Nou, controversy continued to surround the performance of the match officials.

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Madrid felt they should have had a penalty with the score at 1-0 to Barcelona, and both coach Carlo Ancelotti and players including Sergio Ramos aired grievances immediately after the final whistle.

The official Madrid club site highlighted the challenge in question, by Javier Mascherano on Cristiano Ronaldo inside the area.

Much of Sunday’s media coverage took its cue from the club’s complaints, and criticism of experienced official Alberto Undiano Mallenco continued on Monday -- with AS reporting that an “indignant” Ronaldo had continued his complaints when talking to Barca players including captain Carles Puyol in the tunnel.

'Keep calm, this Madrid will work,' says Marca's front page
OtherMarca urged readers to keep calm, saying: 'This Madrid will work.'

Lip-readers for Spanish TV station Cuatro said the Portugal attacker had insulted an official by calling him a 'piece of s---', with Sergio Busquets responding by calling his opponent a ‘crybaby’.

Undiano Mallenco booked Ronaldo for his protests after the Mascherano incident, with his report saying the card had been shown in response to him “making observations about the play, in disapproval of one of my decisions”. On Monday, reports in the Catalan press said Ronaldo could face a ban if it was proven that he used stronger language than the referee had thought.

Coverage of the refereeing in AS included the statistic that Madrid players were shown five yellow cards in the game while Barca only received two, even though the Catalans committed more fouls. The Madrid-leaning paper also claimed Lionel Messi should have been given two yellows and been sent off, one for a high foot similar to that for which Gareth Bale booked, and the other for a dive later in the game.

However, it was quiet on whether Sergio Ramos had deserved a second yellow for a foul on Andres Iniesta, or whether a Pepe challenge on Cesc Fabregas in the first half had merited a penalty.

Iniesta stayed away from the controversy when speaking to Barca TV, saying: “Anything can happen when FC Barcelona and Real Madrid meet because they’re both great teams with great players. But in the end it was a question of us being better than them.”

The Spain international said he had enjoyed the relative lack of incident compared with some clasicos of the recent past. “Until a few years ago, the clasicos were calm affairs,” he added. “I think they’ll be like that from now on.”

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