Real Madrid were left frustrated and feeling hard done by after being held to a draw at the Santiago Bernabéu by Atlético Madrid in a match marred by controversial refereeing decisions.
Carlo Ancelotti and his players felt they were clearly on the wrong end of some questionable calls from referee José María Sánchez Martínez, who they believe favored Diego Simeone’s side.
Sánchez Martínez had a night to forget, with his performance heavily criticized for being biased towards Atlético. He failed to award two clear penalties to Real Madrid, neither of which were reviewed by VAR.
The first incident involved Lucas Vázquez, but the most contentious moment came when Jude Bellingham was brought down by Stefan Savić. The replays showed Savić clearly making contact with Bellingham, but the referee waved away appeals for a penalty.
Bellingham was furious at the decision and could not believe that the referee had not pointed to the spot. He is likely to have to get used to such decisions, at least until there is a major change at the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), as Florentino Pérez has called for.
Simeone’s side were allowed to get away with their usual physical style of play, which made it difficult for Real Madrid to impose their rhythm on the game.
Ancelotti was understandably frustrated with the refereeing performance after the match, and he is not the only one. There have been a number of controversial decisions in La Liga this season, which have led to accusations of bias and corruption.