Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman storms out of the press conference after the El Clasico at Madrid.
Real took home all three points from a high voltage Clasico on Sunday as Barcelona was left frustrated. With this win, Los Blancos moved up to the top spot in La Liga.
Just a few days back Ronald Koeman was being held in high regard for turning things around after a shaky start. Today, he has suffered his second Clasico defeat as a manager. And with this loss, Barcelona’s hopes of winning the league are also effectively over.
Strikes from Karim Benzema and Toni Kroos gave Real the advantage in the first half. Despite Barcelona coming out on the better side after the break, it simply was not enough. Oscar Minguezapuuled one back but the home side managed to hold on till the end.
Refereeing Errors once again the point of difference for Barcelona
It might have been a different scenario had the Blaugrana been awarded a penalty. Ferland Mendy made clear contact on Braithwaite inside the box causing him to go off balance. The referee, Gil Manzano, however, waved play on. It resulted in a furious reaction from Koeman and Pique who later squared up to Manzano in the tunnel.
Barcelona boss had hardly regained his composure in the press conference. While admitting that his side left spaces in the first half, he also took a dig at the officials.
“Everyone in the world saw it was a penalty. It was a penalty. It was clear.”, the Dutchman was found saying.
Koeman frustrated with the referee
He then proceeded to ask a reporter, “You saw it right? Was it not a penalty?”. The reporter however refused to comment, and this infuriated Koeman to the point where he simply walked off.
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He later hit out at VAR again. Just like he had done earlier after two controversial calls resulted in his side’s defeat in the last Clasico. A gentle reminder that his comments earned him sanctions from the disciplinary committee last time.
Koeman’s frustrations were justified. Barcelona, after a disappointing first half, made a convincing comeback in the second. Realising that the 3-5-2 was not working, Koeman decided to change the system. And it proved largely effective.
Barca dominated possession throughout, enjoying most of it in the opponent’s half. Zinedine Zidane’s men had their priorities very clear: sit back and absorb and hit Barca on the counter. And it actually worked, at least in the first half.
In such closely contested games, the referee calls always play an important role in deciding the outcome. And safe to say, Gil Manzano did play a huge role in influencing the final result.
Right now though, the only thing matters are that Real are top of La Liga, albeit Atletico drew at Real Betis which gives Barcelona hope for a title challenge.