As with almost every game of one of the title candidates since the resumption of La Liga, it was again about arbitration on Wednesday after Real Madrid-Mallorca (2-0). Real captain Sergio Ramos thinks the Barcelona players are complaining because the rival is the leader.
"We only hear complaints about the referees when we are at the top," said Ramos in a post-match TV interview on Wednesday. "When we were still second, there was never grumbling."
The defender does not think that his team is favored. "Sometimes the referee's decision is in your favor and other times it is in your disadvantage. I do not feel that the result is fixed beforehand, as suggested by some."
After Barcelona gave up the lead with a draw against Sevilla last weekend, Gerard Piqué said derisively that the title battle had already been fought. Real Madrid had nine games to play at that time and both rivals were tied in points. "With these referees it is impossible for them to lose points," said the Barcelona defender.
Promptly, in the next game of Real Madrid against Real Sociedad (1-2 victory), three debatable moments favored 'De Koninklijke'. Barcelona coach Quique Setién then added some extra oil to the fire by saying that "the VAR is not always used correctly".
A day later in the 1-0 win over Atheltic Bilbao, Barcelona was just lucky with the arbitration when star player Lionel Messi escaped a red card after a hard foul. A few minutes later, the Argentinian assisted with the only goal.
Also in the game between Madrid and Mallorca, there was again discussion on Wednesday about the role of the referee. Vinícius's 1-0 was preceded by an alleged foul by defender Dani Carvajal.
Stand in La Liga
- 1. Real Madrid 31-68
- 2. FC Barcelona 31-68 *
- 3. Atlético Madrid 31-55
- * with an equal number of points, mutual result is decisive, which is in favor of Real Madrid.
Ramos not satisfied with Real Madrid game
Ramos later signed for the 2-0 from a free kick. It was the 69th league goal in the Spaniard's career, which already set Ronald Koeman's record as La Liga's most scoring defender three days earlier.
Nevertheless, Ramos was not very pleased with his team's game. "It was more effective than brilliant. We only had three days to recover from the previous game and you could see that on the field."
"The goal has been reached, we are at the top again, but there is still a lot of room for improvement. Especially in possession of the ball in half of the opponent, it should be better, but that really has to do with the fatigue."
Ramos and his teammates have only three days to rest, because an away match against Espanyol is scheduled for Sunday. Barcelona will already visit Celta de Vigo on Saturday.
Ramos cries out after setting Real Madrid 2-0 from a free kick. (Photo: Pro Shots)