It’s taken Barcelona just five games of the new season before complaining about the refereeing in LaLiga Santander. There were protests galore from players and coaches alike as Clement Lenglet gave away a penalty against Real Madrid on Saturday.
The French defender tugged on Sergio Ramos’ shirt at a set-piece before the Real Madrid captain hit the ground and claimed for a penalty.
Referee Juan Martinez Munuera waved away the calls initially but, after taking a look at the incident on his pitchside monitor, he pointed to the spot.
Ramos took the penalty himself and scored to put Los Blancos back in front in the contest. The controversial decision prompted protests among the Barcelona contingent, both on and off the pitch, which continued in the press conferences after the game.
I told [the referee] that, hopefully, someone can explain to me how VAR works in Spain,” Ronald Koeman said at full time. “We’re five games in and VAR has only come in against Barcelona. Never in favour.
“It wasn’t a penalty on [Lionel] Messi against Sevilla, neither for the two reds against Getafe. I asked him why there’s only VAR against Barcelona. It was a decisive moment in this game.”
“It’s difficult because you see that there are many games and plays like [the penalty],” lamented Sergio Busquets.
“One against Real Betis comes to mind much clearly. They say that they have to be very, very clear plays in which everyone must agree, and I think today they punished us a lot.”
This dismay extended further to the Catalan media. “VAR robs the Clasico from Barcelona,” read the title of Sport’s match report. “Controversial victory against Barcelona in the Camp Nou,” said Mundo Deportivo.
After a promising beginning to the campaign, Koeman’s side have failed to win any of their last three games in LaLiga Santander. Their performances haven’t brought many positives from recent weeks either.