Real Madrid have lost nine points through unawarded penalties
Zinedine Zidane's side have not been awarded a single spot-kick in the league this season, and that has had a profound effect on the title race.
Real Madrid have not been awarded a single penalty in LaLiga this campaign, and it is beginning to resemble an episode of Cuarto Milenio, a Spanish programme about conspiracy theories. It could have been that Zidane’s men lacked a bit of oomph in the final third and did not drive into the danger zone to provoke the referees in to awarding spot-kicks. But that is not the case. Upon reviewing the contentious decisions that have affected Real Madrid in their 12 matches this season, there are no less than ten penalties that should been awarded (and three of those were in the derby at the Wanda Metropolitano!).
Parejo on Benzema the first offence
Going chronologically, the pattern began at the end of August when Valencia travelled to the Bernabéu. Dani Parejo grabbed hold of Karim Benzema in the penalty box. It was a clear as day. But referee Fernández Borbalán (what a surprise!) did not blow his whistle. Madrid dropped two points at home that evening…
The following error came in Matchday 3 and, once again, it was at the Bernabéu. This time, Levante were the opposition. Theo Hernández cut back in to the area and Chema felled him. Hernández Hernández did not want to know. Once again, Madrid dropped two points at home…
The home match against Real Betis brought further injustice. It was as much a victory for Mateu Lahoz as it was a defeat for Real Madrid, as the referee turned down three penalty shouts for Los Blancos. The first one was clear. Javi García caught Marcelo on the ankle inside the box. The ex-Madrid player was the protagonist for the second penalty appeal, too. He blocked Cristiano Ronaldo’s backheel on the line with his right arm. And if that wasn’t enough, Mateu also failed to penalise García for a tug on Ronaldo as he was about to shoot. Three penalties were not awarded, three points were lost…
On Matchday 11 Las Palmas came to town, and Bernabéu had to watch two more penalties go unawarded. The referee was Sánchez Martínez this time. The first was a wayward challenge by Míchel on Casemiro. It was so clear that the Las Palmas players stopped in their tracks. A few minutes later, Mauricio Lemos arrived late to a 50:50 with Nacho. There was no luck for the hosts but luckily, they won on this occasion.
Atlético get lucky with Bordalán
And so we arrive at the Wanda Metropolitano, where it was confirmed that when it rains, it pours. Lucas Hernández’ kick on Sergio Ramos as he stooped to head the ball left physical proof that it was a stone-wall penalty. Ramos suffered a fractured nose and did not emerge for the second half. Referee Bordalán also had a view of proceedings when Diego Godín, with his arm apart from his body, blocked Cristiano Ronaldo’s cross inside the six-yard box. And finally, the man from Almería didn’t want to know when Fernando Torres pulled back Nacho to prevent him getting his head to a corner. Two more points went begging for Madrid.
And on top of all that, you have to add two goals against Real Madrid that were deemed legal, but were in fact offside. The first was Jorge Molina’s strike for Getafe in the Coliseum Alfonso Pérez (which equalised at 1-1 before Ronaldo scored the winner) and Portu’s goal for Girona, which cost Real Madrid a point at Montilivi.
So if we are keeping a tally, Real Madrid have lost nine points in LaLiga as a result of erroneous refereeing decisions (two against Valencia, two against Levante, three against Betis, and two against Atlético). Then taking in to account the one point lost at Girona, the total reaches 10… the current difference between Madrid and Barcelona.
And that is without discussing the two clear red cards that Atlético avoided at the Wanda Metropolitano. Correa should have received his marching orders for booting the ball at Benzema’s head as he lay on the turf, and Savic should have been sent off for a studs-up challenge on Toni Kroos’ ankle, which could have caused damage.
It is obvious that Real Madrid need to improve their football. But if Los Blancos had been officiated by referees who respected the letter of the law, we would still be talking about an open title race. It is no surprise that the players and fans alike are looking forward to the implementation of VAR next season…
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