Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman was infuriated by his side’s 2-1 loss to Real Madrid after the referee waved away two penalty claims in Saturday’s El Classico which saw them slip off the title race.
Danish striker Martin Braithwaite went down twice inside the box as the Catalan giants chased the game following clumsy challenges from Ferland Mendy.
“If you’re a Barcelona fan and you saw this game you’d be very annoyed with two of the referee’s decisions. It was a clear, clear penalty and then he only gave four minutes of stoppage time,” the Dutch coach told Spanish network Movistar.
Koeman, who was also angry when his side were beaten 3-1 by Real last October with the help of a contentious penalty, ended his post-match interview early after asking the Movistar reporter his thoughts on the second challenge.
“Once again we just have to accept it and shut up,” he added.
Karim Benzema and Toni Kroos had put Real two goals up before halftime, with Oscar Mingueza netting for Barca on the hour mark. Lionel Messi hit the post from a corner in the first half while a shot from Barca substitute Ilaix Moriba came off the bar in the last minute of added time.
In addition to venting his displeasure at referee Jesus Gil Manzano, Koeman admitted his side had made a poor start to the game.
“In the first half we didn’t play well in attack or defence. We were better in the second and all I ask is that the referee makes the right decisions,” he added.
Real coach Zinedine Zidane said it was unfair to say his side had only won because of the penalty call.
“We should be very happy with our performance and you cannot say it was all down to the referee, we deserved the win,” he said.
“If the referee says it wasn’t a penalty it’s because it wasn’t one. The important thing from our point of view is what we did on the pitch. We made an excellent start then suffered a bit because Barca are a great side but we had a lot of chances to score the third goal. In the end the win was well deserved.”