Real Madrid held by Sevilla, turn anger towards officials

The complaints by Madrid came after video review turned a penalty kick for the hosts into one for Sevilla with the game at 1-1 in the second half

By   |  Published: 10th May 2021  6:05 pm
Real Madrid's French coach Zinedine Zidane (L) shakes hands with Spanish referee Juan Martinez Munuera (C) as Real Madrid's German midfielder Toni Kroos walks past. -Photo: AFP

Madrid: After seeing its chance to reach the top of the Spanish league slip away, defending champion Real Madrid turned its anger toward the officials.

Madrid blasted the referee and VAR after Sunday’s 2-2 draw against Sevilla, which kept the club from taking the lead with three rounds to go.

The result benefited first place Atlético Madrid, which drew 0-0 with Barcelona at the Camp Nou Stadium on Saturday. Chasing their first league title since 2014, Atlético stayed two points in front of both second-place Madrid and Barcelona.

The complaints by Madrid came after video review turned a penalty kick for the hosts into one for Sevilla with the game at 1-1 in the second half.

The referee had called a penalty for a foul on Karim Benzema in the 74th minute, but VAR went back to find a controversial handball by Madrid defender Éder Militão a few seconds earlier in the other area. Madrid also had a first-half goal by Benzema overturned for offside by VAR.
Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane couldn’t hold back against the officials.

“I never speak about the referees, but today I’m angry,” said Zidane, who entered the field to question the referee after the match. “I didn’t understand anything. I’m not convinced by anything that he told me.”

Madrid twice trailed against Sevilla, needing a late goal by Eden Hazard deep in stoppage time to earn the final equalizer at the Alfredo Di Stéfano Stadium.

Fernando had put the visitors ahead in the 22nd before Marco Asensio evened the match in the 67th. Ivan Rakitic converted the controversial penalty kick in the 78th to put Sevilla in front, and Hazard deflected a shot by Toni Kroos in the fourth minute of injury time to salvage a point for Madrid.

“We let two points slip away,” Madrid midfielder Luka Modric said. “But we are still alive. We’ll try to win the last three matches and see what happens. We’ve seen that every team can lose points.”