As with every Clasico, it’s quite interesting just to sift through the comments after the match. Class is never a big part of what we see going on, as Real Madrid players constantly talk about the penalty kick not given to them after Javier Mascherano fouled Cristiano Ronaldo, while the Barcelona side ignores those claims and prefers talking about the wonderful goal Alexis Sanchez scored.
Was there a penalty? Probably. It was a dive from Cristiano Ronaldo, but a dive doesn’t mean there was no foul. Javier Mascherano leaned in to him with his hip or shoulder. Ronaldo was obviously looking for the contact and like in the match against Juventus, he made a meal of it, but it doesn’t mean there wasn’t a foul.
And yet he wasn’t the only “wronged” person in the match. Cesc Fabregas was also fouled in the first half, pretty much clipped from behind while letting go of the ball. That was also a penalty kick referee Undiano Mallenco missed out on. The only one still talking about that moment after the match was Fabregas.
We played better than Real Madrid for most of the match, and we deserved to win. I was fouled in the box too and a penalty wasn’t called. It happens.
It’s easier understanding the referee once you win, that’s for sure. But Fabregas is right about Barcelona being better for most of the match, and Carlo Ancelotti finishing with the lineup he should have started with, waiting too long to start having some initiative in the match, and playing with the right players in the right position.
Cristiano Ronaldo couldn’t stop talking about that foul, especially after conceding the second goal. He was booked for complaining and berating the referee, and Lionel Messi was caught on camera finding all of this quite amusing.
Sergio Busquest and Dani Alves, usually the most vocal when it comes to Real Madrid issues, didn’t save any words from their rivals this time as well: Every time they lose they start talking about referees. They don’t have the right to complain, especially after all that’s happened this season. It wasn’t him that decided the end result.
But the past is the past, and Real Madrid care about what happened now. Sergio Ramos mentioned that there are some things his team can’t fight, suggesting that the referee had it in for them and helped Barcelona win the match. Carlo Ancelotti, once again criticized for his tactics, defended himself as always, and tried to shift the blame at the referee.
Everyone in the world saw the penalty on Ronaldo except for the referee. That penalty looked very clear to me. We played much better in the second half, and had a few very good chances to score. I’m not talking about how much, in percentages, the referee was crucial to the result. I started Ramos in the middle because I wanted some balance there. Illarramendi was tired after the Juventus match, so he started from the bench. There are Bale’s first matches, and we’re trying out different combinations. It doesn’t really matter to him where he plays. We tried to create a lot of pressure on Sergio Busquets.
The winning head coach gets to be the one that says the last words, as Gerardo Martino came out victorious from his first Clasico.
I try not to talk about referees after matches, unlike the opposing coach, who is already voicing his opinion. I don’t think my effect on the players is too great. It’s actually quite minimal at this point. I still have a lot to learn about the players and how to adjust them against different rivals.