Real Madrid winger Cristiano Ronaldo has attributed Sunday’s 4-3 home loss to Barcelona to “unbelievable” refereeing decisions.
Referee Alberto Undiano Mallenco made some questionable calls as Barca fought from 3-2 down to clinch victory with Lionel Messi two controversial penalties to complete his hat-trick at the heart of the Estdaio Santiago Bernabeu fortress.
“It’s a feeling of sadness after being 3-2 up and controlling the game. The referee made some unbelievable decisions, but you have to carry on,” Ronaldo told the capital city club’s website.
“We were unlucky with everything that happened, but we are still ahead of them and the Liga goes on. We have only lost one game, it is all open and I think the team is fine”.
Andres Iniesta shot the reigning champions into the lead with his first El Clasico goal, but Karim Benzema’s brace pulled Carlo Ancelotti’s side ahead before Messi’s hat-trick undermined the efficacy of a Ronaldo goal from another disputed penalty of his own.
Real arguably lost dominance in the second El Clasico of the season when Sergio Ramos was sent off for clipping Neymar on the edge of the box, from which Messi leveled scores.
The Argentina captain grabbed his third goal of the night with six minutes left to full-time, after Andres Iniesta was impeded by Zabi Alonso and Dani Carvajal- though it looked another soft decision on the part of the referee.
“There were a lot of errors in one match. In a Real Madrid-Barcelona you have to have a referee who is up to the game. I don’t want to look for excuses but if you look at the 90 minutes the referee made a lot of mistakes. Really bad. In my opinion he was not up to a match of this stature. Hopefully it won’t be the same in the final of the Copa del Rey,” he added.
“I looked at him and he was pale, that’s because he was so nervous and he was unable to make the right decisions. A referee has to be relaxed in order to do as well as possible. It makes me think that matches are not only won on the pitch, but also with a little help off of it”.
Barca are now a point behind joint leaders, Atletico Madrid and Real, with the unfortunate loss leaving the Los Blancos second by virtue of their head-to-head record with neighbours, both leveled on 70 points.
Ronaldo said: “We are sad because we knew we deserved more, but the fight goes on. It is difficult because a lot of people did not want us to win and Barcelona would have been out of it. Maybe they don’t want Real Madrid to win this Liga.”