Zidane, LaLiga, Sergio Ramos and VAR
Under Zidane's serene guidance, Real Madrid maintain their 100% win record since the restart of the LaLiga action in June. This is a difficult time for coaches with games coming thick and fast after the hiatus enforced by the Covid-19 pandemic. Zidane's men secured a laboured win against Athletic and took a seven point lead as Barça later faced Villarreal. Real Madrid look in good physical shape and Zidane has been rotating the squad in a sensible manner with the spine of Sergio Ramos-Casemiro-Benzema impressing greatly in these seven matches.
It also should be acknowledged that all contentious VAR decisions seem to be going their way with this creating no shortage of general polemic. In yesterday's game, VAR awarded a spot kick after Dani García tripped Marcelo and minutes later Athletic felt they should have also had a penalty when Sergio Ramos tripped Raúl García in the opposite box. Repetitions show how Ramos moving back in the area steps on the Athletic attacker's foot and under current regulations, this should be spot kick. VAR officials failed to communicate with referee González González and controversy ensued. I never imagined or wished for an incident like this to be castigated with a penalty but that's the point we're at with Athletic furious at the end of the 90 minutes.
I'll say it again, VAR has become a dangerous and harmful invader and one that Barça are happy to grab onto as a tool. When criticising VAR, Piqué seems to overlook the following incidents: Lenglet's goal against Bartra (Betis), Messi's dive against Leganés and the Barcelona captain's stamp on Yeray that could have seen the Argentine red carded with the ensuing suspension. The penalty was despatched calmly by Sergio Ramos with the defender having bagged his past 20 spot kicks. He's a player that rides his luck with a repertoire of penalty taking from the dinked Panenka's through to the well executed finishes as we saw at San Mamés yesterday.
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