Koeman blames VAR for Barcelona’s el clasico loss to Real Madrid
FC Barcelona head coach, Ronald Koeman, has blasted the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) for his side’s 1-3 loss to Real Madrid on Saturday, reports ibtimes.co.uk. The visitors scored their second goal through a penalty after captain Sergio Ramos had his shirt pulled by Clement Lenglet during a corner.
According to Koeman, the VAR is ‘only used to make decisions against Barca.’ Of course penalty aside, Real Madrid did also score two other goals against Barca’s lone goal. The reigning La Liga champions drew first blood thanks to an effort by Federico Valverde in the opening five minutes of the match.
Barcelona’s wonder kid Ansu Fati was quick to respond with an equaliser in the eighth minute. Ramos gave Real Madrid the lead after the penalty in the 60th minute but it was the brilliant goal by Luka Modric in the 90th minute that really sealed the deal.
However, according to the BBC, Koeman insists that his side was at the losing end of a VAR conspiracy.
“You always get shirt tugs like that in the area and I think Ramos makes a foul on Lenglet first. There’s a tug of the shirt, but not enough to make him fall behind as he did. For me it’s not a penalty,” he said.
“We have had five matches and [VAR] has only been used to go against Barca. It’s never gone our way,” he continued. Barca is currently sitting in 12th place on the La Liga table, a position they don’t often find themselves in.
“The decision had a big influence on the final result, because we were playing well up to the penalty,” he said, appearing to blame the penalty for the side’s inability to regain momentum and stage a comeback.
On the other hand, Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos, who was seen chatting amicably with Koeman during the halftime break, had other thoughts. “I think it was a very clear penalty. He tugged my shirt when I was jumping for the ball and it’s as clear as daylight. It’s unfair to criticise a referee for a decision as clear as that,” he said.
Real Madrid now tops the La Liga table with Atletico Madrid just two points behind and a game in hand.