Zinedine Zidane ‘angry’ at VAR after Real Madrid’s title hopes fade

Los Blancos slipped up against Sevilla and are now two points behind Atletico Madrid in La Liga with three matches remaining

Richard Martin
Monday 10 May 2021 10:34
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Zinedine Zidane, Head Coach of Real Madrid interacts with Referee Juan Martinez Munuera
Zinedine Zidane, Head Coach of Real Madrid interacts with Referee Juan Martinez Munuera

Zinedine Zidane admitted he was “angry” at VAR after Real Madrid slipped up against Sevilla to dent their hopes of winning La Liga.

A bizarre situation saw two handball calls go against Los Blancos in an entertaining 2-2 draw, with Real now trailing leaders Atletico Madrid by two points in the title race.

At 1-1, Brazilian defender Eder Militao was adjudged to have handled while competing in the air after a VAR review.

The call ensured the decision to award a penalty for Real was revered with a foul on Karim Benzema by Sevilla goalkeeper Bono occurring moments after Militao’s infringement.

Ivan Rakitic scored from the spot to restore Sevilla’s lead but a Diego Carlos own goal in the 93rd minute snatched a point for Real to leave them two points behind Atletico.

Zidane’s side had appealed for a penalty in the first half when the ball struck the arm of Sevilla’s Joan Jordan although, unlike Militao, the midfielder had not extended his arm.

“I don’t understand it at all. If it’s a handball against Militao it has to be a handball against Sevilla too,” Zidane told Spanish network Movistar Plus.

The French coach prides himself on rarely discussing refereeing decisions but he took to the pitch after the game to remonstrate with official Juan Martinez Munuera.

“He told me that Militao’s was a handball but he didn’t convince me,” added Zidane.

“I never speak about the referee but today I’m angry. In the end it is what it is and what I say won’t change anything. I’m happy with how my team played, we deserved more as we were spectacular in the second half.”

Real director Emilio Butragueno joined Zidane in expressing his frustration with the decision, recalling his side were denied a penalty against Atletico in March when the ball came off the hand of defender Felipe when he jumped for a header.

“We’re not having much luck with plays like this. We’ve been in a few similar situations this season and once again the decision went against us,” he said.

“It was an absolutely decisive decision given the moment in the game and what it meant, a penalty for Sevilla or a penalty for Real Madrid.

“We’re concerned as there have been some similar plays which in theory would have gone in our favour and the outcome has been different. We’re left feeling a little uneasy.”

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