Real Madrid won the El Clasico derby against Barcelona on a rainy Saturday at the Alfredo De Stefano Stadium. Two first half goals from Karim Benzema and Toni Kroos were enough to seal the deal. However, Barca coach Ronald Koeman was furious after the match. The reason? The referee did not award his team a penalty in the later stages of the game. This was after Martin Braithwaite was brought down by Real defender Ferland Mendy inside the box. The win helped Real reach the top of the points table with 66 points, the same as Atletico Madrid who will play Real Betis on Sunday.
Ronald Koeman was unhappy with the refereeing and even walked out of a television interview after the match. Koeman lashed out at the referee Gil Mananzo after the match after his side was denied a penalty claim which could prove to be crucial in the title race. Mananzo was a late replacement for Mateu Lahoz on the pitch.
“I only ask that the officials get things right. It’s a penalty. And then they add four minutes, when they have stopped the game for more… the penalty is very clear.
“I don’t know why we have VAR in Spain. Everyone has seen the incident… the way Martin falls, it has to be a foul. The referee may not see the play, but we have VAR for situations like this. It is better not to say more.” said Koeman.
Zidane said it was a “deserved victory” for his side. He did not agree with Koeman’s complaints.
“I believe the referee did not whistle for a penalty because it is not a penalty,” he said. “But we suffered because Barcelona are a great team.”
Karim Benzema gave Real the lead in the 13th minute as he flicked a cross from the right flank to the bottom right corner of the goal.
In the 28th minute, a free kick taken by Toni Kroos deflected off two Barca players to go inside the goal-post and made it 2-0.
Barca came all guns blazing in the second half and pulled one back in the 60th minute through Oscar Mingueza. However, Real’s defence stood tall in the later stages to help them take home all three points.
— Real Madrid C.F. 🇬🇧🇺🇸 (@realmadriden) April 10, 2021
The top three teams are separated by just one point and the title race is still wide open.