Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane left annoyed by non-stop referee talk



Posted Monday, June 22, 2020 by ESPN

Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane left annoyed by non-stop referee talk

Zinedine Zidane has said constant talk about referees "annoys" him after three big decisions went Real Madrid's way in a 2-1 win at Real Sociedad that put them top of the La Liga table.

Madrid were awarded a second-half penalty, scored by Sergio Ramos, when defender Diego Llorente was adjudged to have fouled Vinicius Junior.

Adnan Januzaj had an equaliser ruled out -- the referee deciding offside teammate Mikel Merino put off keeper Thibaut Courtois -- before Karim Benzema scored a second, having controlled the ball with his shoulder in a goal reviewed for handball by VAR.

"What annoys me is when people talk about just one thing, the referees," Zidane said in his postmatch news conference. "There's a team here, there are games we play, and sometimes it seems like we haven't done anything. But we can't control controversy. We won on the pitch and it was a deserved victory.

"There was a penalty on Vini. For Karim's goal, I've been told it touches his shoulder. It's up to the referee, I don't get involved, the referee does his job and I have to respect that."

On Friday, Gerard Pique had hinted that officials were favouring Real Madrid, saying it would be "difficult" for Barcelona to win the title.

Their victory at Anoeta means Madrid go level with Barca on 65 points at the top of La Liga -- but ahead of the Catalan side thanks to their head-to-head record -- with eight games left to play.

"We haven't won anything yet," Zidane said. "It's three wins and nine points, but we know it will be difficult until the end. We have to keep going, we're in good form, the players are doing well physically and technically."

One concern for the French coach was an injury to captain Ramos, who hurt his knee in a collision with Real Sociedad forward Alexander Isak not long after scoring his penalty and had to be withdrawn with half an hour to go.

"Right now it hurts a lot, but I think it's just a knock, nothing else," Zidane said. "That's the good news. We'll see. He's the best defender in the world for me. He has character, he always wants more. That's what he brings to the team and it's a big plus."

Real Madrid play Mallorca on Wednesday night, 24 hours after rivals Barcelona host Athletic Bilbao.

They will do so without Isco -- diagnosed with a hamstring injury last week -- as well as midfield enforcer Casemiro, who will be suspended after picking up another yellow card on Sunday.



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