Real Madrid News
Ancelotti unhappy with referee after Real Madrid 1-1 Girona: “It’s not a penalty”
Real Madrid were held to a 1-1 draw by a lowly Girona side on Sunday at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Los Blancos had taken the lead through Vinicius Jr’s strike in the second half but saw a penalty awarded against them after Marco Asensio was adjudged to have handled the ball inside the box, which Cristhian Stuani tucked away to level things up.
But the decision to award the penalty has not gone down too well in the Madrid camp, considering that the ball appeared to hit Asensio’s chest before ricocheting into his left arm.
Speaking to the press after the match, Ancelotti expressed his displeasure at the refereeing, given that Real Madrid also had a goal from Rodrygo Goes chalked off.
“I don’t like to talk about this, but today I am going to do it. The first situation is quite clear, it is not a penalty because he does not touch the ball with his hand. I have spoken with Asensio and he tells me that he has hit him in the chest,” he said (h/t MARCA).
“It is true that the left hand is in a bit of a strange position. If he touches the ball with his hand there could be a doubt, but he simply does not give the ball with his hand. They have made it up. The second situation is a bit more debatable, The rule is clear, there was no clear control, but there you can give your opinion. I’m not going to discuss this.”
“What surprises me is the penalty, which came at an important moment in the game, it was on track, although it cost us a lot. After this situation, we have two points less in the table.”
On whether Real Madrid failed to win because of the refereeing decisions, he added: “I don’t know if we didn’t win because of that. This episode has affected the game. We were able to play better, but at this point in the season, it’s difficult to have a very high level of play.”
On the status of the squad, he said: “I can say that the squad is strong, but words are gone with the wind. We have to show it on the pitch. We have two home games and the trip to Rayo, which is complicated. We’re going to react well”.
Real Madrid News
Kovacic speaks ahead of Real Madrid vs Chelsea: “Strange to have Modric as a rival”
In less than two weeks, Real Madrid will play hosts to Premier League giants Chelsea in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League quarter-final tie at the Santiago Bernabeu.
It is a repeat of last season’s Champions League quarter-final, with the change being that the first leg was played at Stamford Bridge back then, which Real Madrid won triumphantly.
So, even though they lost the second leg 3-2, Los Merengues progressed on aggregate. At one point in the second leg, Real Madrid were 3-0 down and looked to be crashing out of the tournament.
But, that is not how the match played out as Luka Modric produced a moment of magic, sending in a stunning outside-of-the-boot pass for Rodrygo to guide home. That forced the match into extra time and Karim Benzema then scored to seal an aggregate win for his team.
Mateo Kovacic, a former Real Madrid midfielder, was on the losing side with Chelsea on that fateful night. And the Croatian has now spoken to Sportske Novosti, about that moment of magic from Modric last year as well as the prospect of facing Real Madrid again.
“We were good against Real Madrid last year, especially in Madrid. Then Modrić invented that trivela assist for Rodrygo… We have to be at 120% against them. They immediately punish every minor mistake. Although I repeat, we are also a difficult opponent for them, we showed it,“ Kovacic said.
On the prospect of facing his close friend and national teammate Modric, Kovacic added: “[laughs] how the draw arranges it… It won’t be easy for us because Real Madrid is always the most dangerous team in the Champions League.”
“It’s a strange feeling to have Modric as a rival. There were hard fouls last year because neither he nor I pull back. We will fight for sure. I play on the left, he’s on the right, we will see who wants what. But I wouldn’t like to hurt him,” he added.
Chelsea had met Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League during the 2020/21 campaign as well and had managed to eliminate them at the semi-final stages on their way to winning the title.
While the Blues have not been in the best of form this season, they have the star power and quality in their ranks to hurt Real Madrid and Carlo Ancelotti’s men must be at their best to get through to the next round.