Barcelona reacted furiously to the VAR decision that cost them the Clasico with Ronald Koeman accusing the video assistant referee system of only giving decisions against them. One club director went further abusing the referee on social media.
Real Madrid beat Barcelona 3-1 at the Nou Camp but the game turned in the second half when Sergio Ramos had his shirt pulled by Clement Lenglet and VAR prompted the referee to check the incident pitchside.
Koeman told Barca TV: ‘Every decision goes against us. In five games there have been none in our favour. There was the [Leo] Messi penalty against Sevilla that was not given and the red card against Getafe. Today’s penalty is just something that happens in the area.’
Lenglet’s tug on Ramos’ shirt convinced Juan Martinez to point to the spot and the Real Madrid captain scored the penalty to put his side 2-1 ahead.
Koeman added: ‘I don’t think it’s a penalty. VAR in Spain only acts against Barcelona.’
Betis fans were also furious with the decision because their striker Toni Sanabria was involved in an identical situation a week early and no penalty was given.
One Barcelona director went even further and had to apologise online. Xavi Vilajoana, who is director at the club of women’s football and Barcelona B tweeted: ‘This is a f*** scandal. Munuera f off.’
He later tweeted apologising if he ‘had offended anyone’ with the message.
Barcelona full-back Sergino Dest preferred to concentrate on the team’s failure to take their chances post-match. He said: ‘I don’t know if it was a penalty. They had chances and we had chances but they were maybe a bit sharper in their finishing.’
Real Madrid were just happy to end a run of two straight defeats. Goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois said: ‘It was not easy playing against Cadiz last weekend after the international break and conceding an early goal we could not get back into the game. We then had a hard game facing Shakhtar in Europe.
‘But here we had the intensity that the manager wanted from us. It was a bit back and forth in the second half but we got the penalty and we held out for the win.
‘We have to fight in each game when we wear this shirt. Today we did that. This is only three points but it gives us an awful lot of confidence.