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Koeman says Barcelona denied ‘crystal clear’ penalty against Real Madrid

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The coach also rued his side’s first-half performance

Real Madrid v FC Barcelona - La Liga Santander Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Ronald Koeman was not happy with match referee Gil Manzano after Barcelona’s 2-1 defeat to Real Madrid in El Clasico on Saturday night.

The Barcelona boss admitted his side hadn’t been up to scratch in the first half, after seeing his team go 2-0 down, but also felt they were let down by the referee after the break.

Koeman felt his side should have been awarded a penalty for a foul on substitute Martin Braithwaite late on and also believed more stoppage time should have been awarded.

“Everyone has seen the game and if you’re a Barca fan you’re angry; you’re not happy with some of the referee’s decisions,”

“First of all, I just want to say that in the first half we weren’t good, attacking or defending. In the second half, we improved.

“I only ask that referees get decisions right. It’s a penalty and then, after that, to only add four minutes of stoppage time when the referee had spent three minutes [fixing a communication] issue with the VAR... But the penalty is crystal clear. There is a referee, a linesman, VAR...”

Source | ESPN

The result is enough to send Real Madrid above Barcelona and top of the table on 66 points with eight games left to play. Atletico Madrid can take back top spot on Sunday if they avoid defeat against Real Betis.