Zinedine Zidane has said he’s “very angry” after Sevilla FC were awarded a controversial handball penalty in a 2-2 draw that left Real Madrid trailing leaders Atletico Madrid by two points at the top of the La Liga table.
The teams were level at 1-1 when referee Juan Martinez Munuera initially gave Madrid a penalty for a foul by goalkeeper Bono on forward Karim Benzema — only for the VAR to intervene after spotting an earlier handball by defender Eder Militao at the other end.
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Ivan Rakitic converted that spot kick, before Eden Hazard deflected a Toni Kroos shot past Bono in the 95th minute to earn Madrid a draw.
“I’m very angry. You’ll have to explain the handball rules to me,” Zidane told Movistar after the match. “I spoke to the referee and I asked for an explanation. He said it was handball by Militao, but the other one [an earlier handball appeal against Joan Jordan] wasn’t… I don’t like to talk about referees but today the feeling isn’t good.”
“If there’s a handball inside the box, you give it both ways,” he added. “The game is over now, but today we can be annoyed… I don’t understand at all. If there was a handball from Militao, there was one from Sevilla too. I wasn’t convinced by what [the referee] said.
“We can talk now, but it won’t be cleared up, that’s what annoys me… Today I saw a handball from Sevilla and another from Real Madrid and he only gave one. That’s the reality.”
The draw at the Alfredo Di Stefano stadium came a day after Barcelona and Atletico played out a 0-0 stalemate at Camp Nou.
The results leave Real Madrid relying on Atletico to drop points in their three remaining games, with Diego Simeone’s team leaders on 77 points, and Madrid and Barca both chasing on 75.
“We still don’t understand how the handball rule works,” goal scorer Marco Asensio said. “The referee was close, he didn’t give it, play continued and we won a clear penalty, then the VAR intervened and decided to give them a penalty.”
“I haven’t seen the replay yet but Militao isn’t even looking at the ball,” Asensio said. “It touches his arm without him wanting to. We’re annoyed because it changes not just the game, but our chances of winning the league.”
Fernando Reyes had opened the scoring in a first half dominated by Sevilla, and Asensio levelled off the bench midway through the second half before the late penalty drama.
“I think we dropped two points today because we did everything to win the game,” midfielder Luka Modric said. “We played quite well, above all in the second half, we created a lot of chances. We had a penalty, and [the referee] gave a penalty the other way… It’s bad luck.”