Los 40 USA
Sign in to commentAPP
spainSPAINchileCHILEcolombiaCOLOMBIAusaUSAmexicoMEXICOlatin usaLATIN USAamericaAMERICA

Three for Courtois, one for the ref

The match at Balaídos was a high risk game for Real Madrid and of plenty interest to LaLiga. If, after the resounding defeat to Barça, the leaders had dropped more points here, the pursuit of their eternal rivals would have gained credibility. But, as it turned out, that was not the case.

Los Blancos were saved three times by Courtois and were gifted a penalty by González Fuertes, which, as it was the third penalty, made the bad even worse, especially when we consider that Celta also had a goal disallowed, via VAR. It was correctly ruled out but it was a tough call, one that rarely happens.

There was no question about the first penalty. A classic striker mess up committing a foul in his own area. The second, for me, was right too: Rodrygo being tripped by Murillo. Does Rodrygo do anything to help it? I didn't think so. The third, though, is pure fabrication by Mendy, who cuts back on Kevin and instead of following the ball he sends his left foot after the Celta player's leg. Gonzalez Fuertes blew and, as the protocol dictates, when there is contact the referee is not notified (I still don't know why) and we are left not knowing if that penalty would have passed the 'misty room' review. I suspect it would not.

As for the Celta non-goal, Iago, who was offside, shields the ball so that it goes over the line and cannot be cleared by Alaba. That's what I saw and that's what VAR also saw, thereby alerting González Fuertes, who disallowed it. For Celta, of course, it was frustrating. Everything seemed to be against them, the ones that were and the ones that weren't, and so a game in which they played better than Madrid, especially after the break, slipped away from them.

For Madrid these are points of relief, but their game seems to be drifting since they changed their plan of waiting and counterattacking to now pressing up top. It's certainly braver and more in keeping with the club's history, but I fear they lack the firepower to play that way.