Ronald Koeman didn’t try to hide his displeasure in the aftermath of Barcelona’s 2-1 defeat to Real Madrid in LaLiga Santander on Saturday night.
Los Blancos were the better side in the first half, scoring through Karim Benzema and Toni Kroos, before the Blaugrana rallied after the break.
The match ended with Koeman and his Barcelona players protesting at referee Jesus Gil Manzano for decisions made in the second half, including a challenge on Martin Braithwaite from Ferland Mendy that the visitors were certain was a penalty.
“If you’re a Barcelona fan, you’re fuming and unhappy because of the refereeing decisions,” Koeman told the media.
“Before, I just want to say that we didn’t play well in the first half, neither defensively nor offensively. We improved in the second half.
“All I ask is that the referees get things right.
“[Mendy‘s challenge on Braithwaite] was a penalty and I think the four minutes of stoppage time [is not enough], when the referee stopped the game for two or three minutes because of his shoulder [equipment]…
“The penalty is clear. Now we have to accept it and shut up.”
The coach, then, was asked if the referee had an influence on the outcome of the game.
“If not, it’s 2-2,” Koeman said.
“I don’t know why there’s VAR in Spain. Everyone has seen the incident [involving Mendy and Braithwaite].
“For me, it’s a clear penalty. Everyone has seen it.
“I don’t understand that a linesman who is 10 metres away [can’t see it].
“From the way Martin goes down, it has to be a foul.
“Maybe the referee didn’t see it, but we have VAR for situations like this.
“It’s best to stop talking.
“The team had a good mentality. We deserve correct decisions in moments like that penalty.
“I’m not the only one who is [angry]. The players are also upset by the officials’ decision on the penalty.
“There are various players who have spent many years at Barcelona and I don’t know if they feel it’s something that’s happened more than once.”