Football

Zinedine Zidane annoyed by talk that referees favour Real Madrid

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane said he was disappointed that he was asked only about the referee's decisions after his side earned a 2-1 victory at Real Sociedad yesterday morning (Singapore time) to climb above Barcelona and top La Liga.

The day before the game, Zidane had been forced to defend his team against a suggestion from Barca defender Gerard Pique that decisions were going Madrid's way, after their 3-0 win over Valencia, in which Rodrigo Moreno had an opening goal ruled out.

The Frenchman faced fresh questions about their apparent fortune after three big decisions went their way against Sociedad.

"It annoys me that people are only talking about the referees as if we did nothing out on the pitch," said Zidane.

"But we cannot control what people will say. We win matches on the pitch and that's what we did today."

Sergio Ramos scored the opening goal just after the break with a penalty after a contentious foul on Vinicius, while Sociedad had an Adnan Januzaj strike ruled out for offside against Mikel Merino.

Karim Benzema then made it 2-0 in the 70th minute after controlling a cross with the top of his arm, the goal being awarded following a video assistant referee review, before Merino halved Sociedad's deficit.

"I didn't see the plays, but I've been told the penalty decision was correct and that Benzema's goal was legal," said Zidane.

Having won all three matches since the season restarted after the coronavirus break, Madrid lead the table due to a superior head-to-head record over Barca.

But they will be sweating over the fitness of Ramos, who limped off with a knee issue, although Zidane said it was just a "knock". - REUTERS

Football